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Record Number of Self-Employed Seek In-house Roles During Pandemic
September 1, 2020

A record 253,000 people moved from self-employment to employment in the second quarter of 2020 suggesting that workers are seeking more job security due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The move towards employment increased by 81,000 compared to the second quarter of 2019 which saw 172,000 people make the switch.

Compared to figures for the first quarter of 2020, the number of formerly self-employed employees rose by 48,000 from 205,000.

Between the first and second quarters of 2020, at the height of the pandemic, only 6% of people changed occupation, yet over half (53%) of those that did also switched their major industry, suggesting that they were seeking a career change as opposed to promotion.

Occupation switchers that have changed major industry between Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 2020. Source: ONS

The ONS suggested that the disproportionate effect the pandemic has had on some industries, like travel and hospitality, could have encouraged some peoples’ decisions to change their major industry.

The latest data from LinkedIn appears to support this trend according to its UK country manager Josh Graff.

Today’s [ONS] figures underscore the fact that we’re facing the toughest labour market in a generation. LinkedIn’s latest data shows that although hiring in the UK has been steadily improving since the steep decline we saw when lockdown measures were put in place, it’s still down on this time last year,” he said.

“Competition for roles has increased three fold and […] workers in the hardest hit industries are looking to other sectors as they seek out new opportunities.”

ONS data showed switching occupations between the first halves of 2019 and 2020 showed a slight increase of 0.4%. It said that this could be due to the effect of the government’s job retention schemes, which could be masking the true scale of UK unemployment, and predicted that the rate of occupational switching may rise as support unwinds in the months leading to 31 October.

Speaking to HR magazine Steve Warnham, jobs expert at Totaljobs, said the job site’s research supports this theory.

He said: “Yesterday’s ONS report revealed a slight increase in the number of people changing occupation in the second quarter of this year. Though this is a trend which is likely to become more prevalent as employment support, such as the UK’s Job Retention Scheme, comes to an end.”

In a survey from April, Totaljobs found 70% of UK workers said they have considered working in a different sector due to COVID-19, and a quarter said they expect to switch industries within the next year.

A desire for increased job security was the reason 32% of survey respondents said they were considering a career change in a different industry.

For Simon Kerr-Davis, counsel at Linklaters employment and incentives practice, he ONS figures are unsurprising. “In times of uncertainty, the perceived job security of employment status has much more appeal than the flexibility offered by self-employment,” he told HR magazine.

Yet he warned employees to be mindful of the perceived security offered by working for an organisation, as the statutory notice period for under two years’ service is just one week.

He added: “The right to a redundancy payment and protection from unfair dismissal also have service requirements and will only apply after two years’ service. There are some “day one” rights for employees which are significant, such as protection from discrimination and from suffering a detriment as a whistleblower, but these rights are also available to self-employed people who provide their services as “workers.”

More on employee redundancy rights:

Legal lowdown: Getting redundancies right

Coronavirus and its potential impact on employee rights

Businesses and ministers need more than redundancy pay law to protect employees

The ONS Coronavirus and occupational switching: January to June 2020 is based on data from the ongoing annual Labour Force Survey.

Ofsted News – Issue 93 – August 2020
September 1, 2020


COVID-19 updates
Ofsted: COVID-19 rolling update – This sets out our guidance and information relating to COVID-19 (coronavirus) for schools, early years, children’s social care and further education and skills providers. We are updating it regularly. If you need to see what we’ve added since you last checked it, you can select ‘history‘ on the page and this lists all the updates.

All Ofsted
Ofsted statement on new Ofqual board committee – Her Majesty’s Chief Inspector (HMCI) Amanda Spielman will chair a new board committee at Ofqual until the end of 2020.
Deferring Ofsted inspections – Updated what the policy applies to and information about deferrals due to COVID-19.
Ofsted pen portraits of Her Majesty’s Inspectors (HMIs) – Updated South East and North East, Yorkshire and Humber HMI pen portraits.

Inspections of unregistered schools: guidance for inspectors – Handbook updated throughout to reflect current arrangements for inspecting unregistered schools.
State-funded school inspections and outcomes: management information – Published management information as at 31 July 2020 and updated the release schedule to include the upcoming publication date.
Changes to Ofsted’s statistical reporting of inspection outcomes for state-funded schools: an analysis of the changes – Replaced the document ‘Changes to Ofsted’s statistical reporting of inspection outcomes for state-funded schools: historical datasets’. The total number of pupils on the 31 August 2016 tab was from 2017. The dataset has been updated to correctly show the total number of pupils from 2016. For the vast majority of schools, the difference in the number of pupils shown is minor.
Initial teacher education: inspections and outcomes as at 30 June 2020 – Official statistics covering outcomes from initial teacher education inspections in the 2019 to 2020 academic year. We have also included a glossary of terms for this.

Children’s social care
Press release: Ofsted to visit local authorities and children’s social care providers – Ofsted will begin visits to local authorities and children’s social care providers from September 2020.
Social care plans from September 2020 – Updated with information about assurance visits that Ofsted will carry out from September 2020. There is more detailed guidance on assurance visits on the relevant pages for:

Ofsted’s social care blog: Children’s social care visits: what to expect – Yvette Stanley, Ofsted’s National Director for Regulation and Social Care, talks about our children’s social care visits that will start this autumn.
Inspection outcomes of children’s homes – Uploaded children’s homes management information for inspections carried out between 1 April 2020 and 30 June 2020. Also updated the release schedule for 2020.

Further education and skills
No updates this month other than information in our COVID-19 rolling update relating to further education and skills.

Early years and childcare
News story: Ofsted to visit nurseries and childminders this autumn – Ofsted will start carrying out visits to some nurseries and childminders from September 2020.
Education plans from September 2020 – Updated details of early years interim visits and added link to new early years operational note.
Joiners and leavers in the childcare sector – Management information aggregating monthly joiners and leavers on our registers. A time-series of joiners and leavers includes data since April 2020.
Consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare – Updated consented addresses for childminders and domestic childcare as at 31 July 2020.