Articles - 2nd October 2019

Self-employed savings crises as people don’t pay into a pension

Words by Emily & Jack

The Telegraph: Self-employed savings crisis: pension contributions plummet as record numbers work for themselves

More people than ever are working for themselves – but there has been a sharp decrease in the number of self-employed contributing to pensions, new figures show.

There is no obligation on neither the Government or clients to provide the self-employed with pensions, but they can use personal pensions to save for retirement.

However, the number of self-employed people investing in personal pensions has dropped by almost a third in four years, according to figures from HM Revenue & Customs. In 2013-14 the number was 600,000, falling to 410,000 in 2017-18.

All companies must provide their employees with pensions under auto-enrolment law, and contribute a minimum of 3pc of people’s salaries, while employees have to pay 5pc. The policy, introduced by the Coalition government, brought more than 10 million people into pensions since the policy’s introduction seven years ago.


The Telegraph: Tax hacks: how to save thousands by cutting the ‘other income tax’ we all pay 

£143bn worth of National Insurance (NI) Contributions will be collected this year, closely following the £195b in income tax. 

Want to know how you can save money and pay less NI and Income tax? Put your money into a pension! 90% of NI tax gets paid into state pensions every year. Learn more about where your money is going here.


Politics Home: Rachel Reeves MP: Labour’s economic plan is not speaking for self-employed people

Shadow Minister for Business, Bill Esterson MP, has called for rights and protections for self-employed to be strengthened.

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Select Committee on Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has called for a statutory definition of self-employment to eliminate bogus self-employment claims.

Reeves MP  also pointed out that some mothers chose self-employment as they feel disadvantaged or discriminated by the labour market.

She went on to note that many people became self-employed after the financial crisis as they had no other option and expressed frustration at the fact that no legislation was introduced based on the Good Work review.


Personnel Today: Gig economy: Royal Mail’s eCourier drivers to strike over employment status

Drivers and riders working for eCourier, a same-day delivery service owned by Royal Mail Group, have voted for strike action, after the company refused to grant them basic employment rights and a living wage.

Union member couriers, 90% of whom voted in favour of action, plan to strike on 10-11 October, affecting deliveries for NHS hospitals in London and numerous other eCourier clients such Goldman Sachs and Deloitte.


It is understood only around 10% of eCourier’s drivers would be striking.


The Times: Hail the cab: driving is favourite route to second income

Catching a cab should never be a problem again if government statistics are to be believed.

Despite mounting concerns about the gig economy and zero-hours contracts, more and more people are turning to taxi driving to make — or supplement — a living.

Approximately one in 100 people may be driving a minicab or taxi, figures suggest. There are now 362,600 licensed drivers of taxis or private hire vehicles in England, a rise of 50 per cent since the mid-2000s. 

The increase is exclusively driven by private hire vehicles — minicabs — which have to be booked in advance either online or over the phone. This is opposed to taxis, including black cabs, right, that can be hailed on the street. The number of taxis has, in fact, fallen over the past year. 

The government has also commissioned a review into the minicab industry after concerns over regulation. In 2017 Transport for London withdrew Uber’s licence amid safety fears. Almost a million people signed a petition opposing the decision. The American company appealed against the ruling and was given a 15-month licence. This week it was granted an extension until the end of November.

 Uber says that it has brought in safety features and better protections for drivers and is helping to reduce pollution.


Bloomberg: A Guide to Tipping in the Gig Economy

Few social situations puzzle even the most mannered etiquette experts so much as deciding how much and when to tip, where it’s not always optional and workers can be paid below minimum wage if they’re also receiving tips.

The history of rewarding good service with additional money is murky, but it most likely originated in Europe, possibly in medieval times, when a serf would receive a tip from his lord for performing well. This practice gained popularity in 17th century England among the upper classes and then spread to the U.S. after the Civil War, when wealthy Americans began traveling to Europe more regularly.

Bloomberg covers how to consider tips for Uber, AirBnb, Lyft, and many others in this Op-Ed piece by Claire Merchlinsky.

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