Media Release

Labour Party manifesto policy on self-employment a step in the right direction

Responding to the Labour Party manifesto announcements on self-employment, SMF research director Nigel Keohane said:

“Many protections offered through current labour law no longer reflect the current realities of the labour market, particularly around self-employment.

“SMF research has found that many self-employed people face the worst of both worlds – they don’t enjoy the autonomy of true self-employment, have fewer employment rights and are much less likely to receive training or take sick leave.

“Shifting the burden of proof so that the law assumes a worker is an employee could address this problem, and ensure that workers have appropriate rights and protections.”

Nigel Keohane can be contacted on



  • Relevant research from the SMF:

The Employment Divide: Is it possible to simplify the distinction between self-employment and employment? (November 2016) PDF and press release

  • About the Social Market Foundation:

The Social Market Foundation (SMF) is an independent, non-partisan think tank. We believe that fair markets, complemented by open public services, increase prosperity and help people to live well. We conduct research and run events looking at a wide range of economic and social policy areas, focusing on economic prosperity, public services and consumer markets. The SMF is resolutely independent, and the range of backgrounds and opinions among our staff, trustees and advisory board reflects this.

  • Interviews/media enquiries:
  • For interviews with SMF experts, please contact SMF communications manager Mercedes Broadbent on // 07425 609 148 // 07425 609 148
  • For more details about the SMF, please contact SMF communications director David Mills on


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