Half of Britain’s 4.5 million self-employed are in low paid jobs

The findings of independent think tank the Resolution Foundation back Jeremy Corbyn’s call for a better deal for self-employed workers with no sick pay or job security.

Low pay is defined as earning less than two thirds of a £11.51 hourly wage – under £7.68 an hour.

Before the 2008 credit crunch, the self employed were twice as likely to be low paid as employees, says the report. But the gap has now widened, with more than 50 per cent on rock bottom wages.

The Low Pay Britain report warns many will soon face a “double whammy” – big cuts in their tax credits, and extra red tape once they move onto universal credit because they will have to reveal how much they earn on a monthly basis.

Foundation policy analyst Laura Gardiner said: “It’s vital the Government gives them as much help as possible, including tax credits to support themselves and their families.”

Women are much more likely to be low paid than men. Workers under 30 are more than twice as likely to be low paid as over 30s.

The study found the East Midlands is the worst region for low pay.

The Foundation forecasts employees earning less than the Living Wage is set to rise to a record 24 per cent – 6.5 million – next year and could hit 30 pet cent by 2020.

Women, older workers and those in north east England, the East Midlands and Wales are most likely to earn the legal minimum, according to the research.