EU ref: which way will 5 million self-employed workers vote?

- Leadership - Jun 22, 2016

Self-employed people in the UK are split down the middle according to a recent survey canvassing opinion ahead of the country's referendum on June 23. 

Research released by Intuit QuickBooks, providers accounting software, reveals that a majority of self-employed workers will vote in the European referendum this Thursday based on personal choice, rather than what may or may not be best for their businesses.

The research, conducted amongst 1,000 self-employed workers across the UK ,finds that 72 percent of self-employed workers will cast their EU referendum vote according to personal or political preference, with just one in five (20 percent) entering the ballot box with their business or career in mind. 

Despite placing a personal choice before their business, the referendum remains high on the self-employed agenda and a huge majority (95 percent) will make sure their voice is heard. Their vote is currently evenly split with 41.9 percent set to vote ‘remain’, 41.3 percent voting ‘leave’ and 11.4 percent still undecided.

Regardless of this even-split, the clear majority (62 percent) of self-employed workers admit to being concerned about the implications of the EU Referendum result on their future self-employed prospects, but most (57 percent) believe that in times of economic uncertainty it is still more reliable to be self-employed, rather than working for a full-time employer. In the event of a Brexit vote, 82% would choose to remain self-employed, rather than trying to find work with an employer (18 percent).

Our research found that just 14 percent of self-employed workers have fully prepared their business for a ‘leave’ vote. A quarter (25 percent) simply do not know how their work could be impacted, and four in ten (42 percent) expect business to continue as usual.

“Self-employed is the fastest growing category of worker with nearly five million individuals across the UK. Their opinions and votes will have a significant impact on the referendum outcome, whether they have made their decision based on personal or business reasons,” said Rich Preece, Europe VP and Managing Director, Intuit QuickBooks. “Whatever the outcome, we must make sure this important group has the information and tools they need to succeed.”

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Read the June 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine.

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