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

26 Pages Posted: 10 Feb 2006

See all articles by René Böheim

René Böheim

Johannes Kepler University

Ulrike Muehlberger

Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration; International Centre for Economic Research (ICER)

Date Written: February 2006

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.

Keywords: self-employment, dependency, outsourcing

JEL Classification: K31, J21, L22

Suggested Citation

Boheim, Rene and Muehlberger, Ulrike, Dependent Forms of Self-Employment in the UK: Identifying Workers on the Border between Employment and Self-Employment (February 2006). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=882060 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.882060

Rene Boheim (Contact Author)

Johannes Kepler University ( email )

Linz
Austria

Ulrike Muehlberger

Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Welthandelsplatz 1
Vienna, Wien 1020
Austria

International Centre for Economic Research (ICER)

Villa Gualino
Viale Settimio Severo, 63
10133 Torino
Italy

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