Beyond the Gig Economy: Empowering the Self-Employed Workforce

The Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the fragile nature of work for many people in the UK – and the self-employed workforce is no exception. In this report, the New Economics Foundation brings to the fore some of the shared challenges faced by self-employed people, especially women, in the pursuit of improved working lives that are more autonomous and accommodating.

The report recommends changes in the approaches through which the self-employed workforce’s needs are met through provision of advice, financial support, and guidance. These centre on four key dimensions:

  1. Meeting the service and support needs of a growing self-employment workforce, including through provision of new self-employment centres across the country. NEF proposes a pilot scheme of 100 centres targeted at locations in which post-pandemic unemployment is expected to be particularly high, and would have heavy involvement from trade unions. These could also help breathe life back into ailing high streets and provide a physical route for outreach to workers facing some of the worst conditions.
  2. Introducing a Minimum Income Guarantee to ensure that self-employed people (and all other UK workers) benefit from an adequate safety net and always receive a living wage.
  3. Ensuring parity of rights and social security for a growing self-employed workforce, the lack of which was exposed by the pandemic.
  4. Ensuring a collective voice and the enforcement of rights for a more transient workforce.

Download the full report here:

Supporting the Third Sector through COVID-19

A series of documents and updates regarding the 2014 to 2020 European Structural and Investment Funds Programme and the response to COVID-19 can be accessed here.

As ever, our dedicated CSI Representatives are here to understand and unpack the issues that the third sector is facing within the current ESIF programme which are affecting their ability to use European funds effectively. 

So that we can raise these issues at government level on your behalf and pro-actively work for solutions, we’re asking Third Sector organisations to tell us their experiences using these funds, in light of the outbreak of COVID-19. Please contact us via