§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security what entitlement to unemployment benefit exists for the self-employed; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Jack
Since the introduction of unemployment benefit it has never been available to those in business on their own account, who are free to set their own patterns and conditions of work. This position is reflected in the lower rate of class 2 contributions paid by the self-employed. Entitlement to unemployment benefit is based on class I employed earner's contributions. A formerly self-employed person who does not qualify for unemployment benefit may qualify for other benefits such as income support.
§ Mr. Jack
Studies by the Department and by Social and Community Planning Research have been undertaken and reports were placed in the Library in November 1989. The434W Chief Adjudication Officer reports on standards of adjudication, as required under section 97 of the Social Security Act 1975. Copies of his published annual reports are also in the Library. We have no plans to change these arrangements.