Self-employment and young people - Royal London comments

4 min read

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Becky O'Connor

Personal Finance Specialist


In response to an Office for National Statistics publication “Young People and Self Employment”, published this morning, which finds an expectation of “high pay and leisure time” and a gap between this expectation and reality, Becky O’Connor, personal finance specialist at Royal London, said:

“It might seem like the best of all worlds, but the reality is self-employment is not for the faint-hearted. It can involve periods of no pay, time spent chasing payments and the loss of valuable employee benefits typically offered by companies, such as holiday, a workplace pension, sick pay and enhanced parental pay if you have a baby.


Those considering self-employment need to think carefully about what they might be giving up and have a target income level that reflects the loss of benefits, as well as a big cash buffer that can tide you through the tough times.”

Notes to Editors


  • There were more than 500,000 self-employed 22- to 30-year-olds across the UK in 2018, a third more than there were in 2008.
  • The ONS found that many 16- to 21-year-olds associate self-employment with a high income, but “the reality is that self-employed workers earn around £3,800 less per year, on average, than employees. This is despite many of them working longer hours.”

For further information please contact:

Lucy Field, Press Officer

About Royal London

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