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Dependent Forms of Self-employment in the UK: Identifying Workers on the Border between Employment and Self-employment

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Author Info

  • Böheim, René

    ()
    (University of Linz)

  • Muehlberger, Ulrike

    ()
    (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

Abstract

We analyse the characteristics of workers who provide work on the basis of a civil or commercial contract, but who are dependent on or integrated into the firm for which they work. We argue that these dependent self-employed lose their rights under labour law, receive less favourable benefits from social security protection and are often beyond trade union representation and collective bargaining. Using data from the British Labour Force Survey we test two hypotheses: (1) Dependent self-employed workers are significantly different from both employees and (independent) self-employed individuals, thus forming a distinct group. (2) Dependent self-employed workers have lower labour market skills, less labour market attachment and, thus, less autonomy than self-employed workers. The data support our hypothesis that dependent self-employed workers are a distinct labour market group which differs from both employees and independent self-employed individuals. Men, older workers, those with low education and a low job tenure have greater odds of working in dependent self-employment than their counterparts. Our results suggest that dependent forms of self-employment are used by firms to increase labour flexibility.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 1963.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Zeitschrift für ArbeitsmarktForschung/Journal for Labour Market Research, 2009, 42 (2), 182-95
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp1963

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Keywords: outsourcing; self-employment; dependency;

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References

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  1. Judith Freedman & Emma Chamberlain, 1997. "Horizontal equity and the taxation of employed and self-employed workers," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 18(1), pages 87-118, February.
  2. Cowling, Marc & Taylor, Mark, 2001. " Entrepreneurial Women and Men: Two Different Species?," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 16(3), pages 167-75, May.
  3. Fabio Berton & Lia Pacelli & Giovanna Segre, 2003. "Tra lavoro dipendente e lavoro parasubordinato: chi sono, da dove vengono e dove vanno i lavoratori parasubordinati," LABORatorio R. Revelli Working Papers Series 25, LABORatorio R. Revelli, Centre for Employment Studies.
  4. Taylor, Mark P, 1999. "Survival of the Fittest? An Analysis of Self-Employment Duration in Britain," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(454), pages C140-55, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Sierdjan Koster & Nardo de Vries, 2011. "The networks of the solo self-employed and their success," Scales Research Reports H201111, EIM Business and Policy Research.
  2. Schulze Buschoff, Karin & Schmidt, Claudia, 2007. "Adapting labour law and social security to the needs of the new self-employed: Comparing European countries and initiatives at EU level," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2007-113, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).

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