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ILC: Government support package for self-employed risks excluding older workers

Jessica Nangle

April 3, 2020

The recent government support scheme for self-employed workers risks excluding a large number of older workers who are already in a vulnerable position according to the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC).

According to the ILC, 12% of workers under 50 and 21% of workers aged over 50 are self-employed.

A significant proportion of older workers who are self-employed are ineligible for support according to the ILC, with full-time self-employed workers aged 55 and over earning less than younger workers.

Research by ILC found that by 2040, older people could be spending 63p in every pound spent in the UK.

Moreover, by 2040, older workers could be contributing 40% (£311bn) of total earnings to the UK economy, adding 2% to GDP every year if older people are supported to stay healthy and in work for longer.

Sophia Dimitriadis, ILC Research Fellow, said: “In these troubling times, it’s more important than ever that no one is left behind.

“But these arbitrary criteria for support risk doing just that.

“As a growing number of workers transition to self-employment in their later years, we need to ensure they are not forgotten, and feel supported to work for longer and have sufficient savings for retirement.

“Failing to support workers of all ages to stay afloat in these unprecedented times could not only put individuals’ livelihoods at risk but also exacerbate the effects of a coronavirus-driven recession.”


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