What does the Spring Budget mean for the self-employed?
Senior Content Officer, Mental Health at Work
The self-employed often get overlooked when it comes to workplace interventions. We want to hear your views to help make everyone’s working lives happier and healthier, so we’ve paired up with Simply Business to find out what matters to you. Simply Business is one of the UK’s biggest providers of small business insurance, and Mental Health at Work has partnered with them to help improve the mental health of the UK self-employed.
The government’s spring budget this week included several measures that could support small- and medium-sized businesses – but some industry experts are worried it has not gone far enough to reassure the self-employed and those who own small businesses, particularly those who fall within the micro-business category.
Only scratching the surface
Alan Thomas, the CEO of Simply Business, said that while important measures have been put in place, the fear remains that these new measures will only scratch the surface.
“Our research indicates that over a quarter (26%) believe that they, quite frankly, will not be able to pay their bills in 2023,” he said. “Despite the positive measures introduced, the worry is that many small businesses will not have seen these fears fully extinguished.
“The cost of energy is front of mind for the majority of small businesses, with over half (54%) saying this is the single greatest threat to their business in 2023. The 3-month continuation of the Energy Price Guarantee will be welcome news, but SMEs up and down the country will still have very real concerns as to.”
The budget is lacking in effective support
And, the mental health charity, is disappointed with the steps offered to support mental wellbeing in the workplace. “The budget is lacking in effective support for employers to change policy, practice and culture to best support people to be healthy in work. Without that, it’s impossible to see how they can expect people who are struggling with their mental health to remain in, or return to, the workplace,” it said in a comment on its website.
The measures also included support to reduce childcare costs, along with more training opportunities for those aged over 50, to help encourage more people back into the workplace.
But FSB National Chair Martin McTague warned that small businesses are still being “undervalued” by the government. “Budgets are about tough choices, and with today’s billions of pounds being allocated to big businesses and households, 5.5million small businesses, and the 16 million people who work for them, will be wondering why the choice has been made to overlook them,” he said, drawing attention to the £27bn given to big business.
We want your views
It can feel frustrating to be overlooked and feel as though your opinions aren’t being listened to. That’s why Mental Health at Work has teamed up with Simply Business to find out what is important to you.
This survey, for the self-employed, asks what is on your mind, what worries you, and what you need to survive and thrive in today’s economy. We’ll be using your answers to understand how we can support you better, and know which issues you want us to take a stand on.
Please share it with other self-employed people and freelancers – the more responses we get, the more effective we can be, together.