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Self-Drive Worker

The UK’s working world is changing hugely

An introduction to the topic
As at February 2022
We have recently published (16.2.22) a Press Release (See here) following the ONS release the monthly Employment Statistics up to 31.12.21. As at Sept 2021, no major re-writing of our explanatory text about “Self Drive Workers” would appear to be necessary.  But the figures have changed over the past 2 years -Major unemployment did not happen; Self Employment plummeted dramatically (explanations needed) and, (experts say) about 400k workers disappeared from the total Employment figure.
Working Free still thinks that our figure for Self Drive Workers will rise to about half of the Total Employment figure.
Read our blog (See here) Comments that we can publish are welcome – emails to [email protected]
As at Sept 2021
Working Free asks you to note that the principles behind the Self Drive Worker concept have not changed for the last 10-15 years (if ever) but the figures have changed. Covid has increased unemployment and moved some self drive workers onto FTE status. We think that this position will soon return to previous patterns.)
(As at June 2017)

About a half of the UK’s working population of about 32m are full time permanent employees on a payroll. The rest are Self Drive Workers.

53% of the UK’s working population are full time employees on a payroll and Working Free contends that 47% are Self Drive Workers. We publish here ONS figures that support our creative contention.

Whatever conclusion you come to, you will doubtless recognise that, with every passing year, there are more workers moving from the 53% category into the 47% category – and not really knowing how best to handle it.  Or doing better at it if they only knew how!

However, all may well not be what it seems!  We encourage all who have an interest in this area to spend some time coming to their own conclusions.  Please read:-

This is what Working Free sets out to address.

Understanding what this is, what it means, how the figures come to be identified and interpreted offers serious value to senior Professionals operating on an independent basis or moving towards this.


The Lead contact here is Charles Russam.  Charles Russam is Managing Director of Working Free and led the creation of this website, liaising with a broad range of supporters and collaborators in the process.

  • Charles Russam
    Charles Russam
    Managing Director
ONS figures supporting the Self Drive Worker Concept

Please note…

  • The figures in the following charts set out to isolate “purely full-time employees on a payroll” from the rest – hereafter referred to as “Self Drive Workers”.
  • Disagreeing with this approach is a perfectly sensible position to adopt – but wherever you finish up it makes the point that about half of the UK’s working population have, to some extent, responsibility for their own incomes.
  • On this basis part-time workers on a payroll are seen as Self Drive Workers.
  • Full time workers/ employees on a payroll and with second jobs are seen as Self Drive Workers.
  • Of the total part time figure of 8402 at October 2017 (8352 at April 2016)  (employees and self-employed) 12% (14% at April 2016) could not find a full-time job; 71% (69%) did not want one; 3% (3%) were ill and 13% (13%) were students. No information is available for the balance – typical of the slow and marginal changes for the best part of a decade.

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Disclaimer: Working Free Ltd cannot accept any responsibility for any loss or disadvantage that may arise out of reliance on any opinions, material or introductions made through this website and all those making use of these services should take appropriate business and legal advice and conduct appropriate due diligence before making any commitments.

Charles Russam
Managing Director

Charles Russam is the Founder and Associate Director of www.Russam-GMS.co.uk  which he chaired from 1982 until 2014. Russam GMS is the longest established Interim Management Provider in the UK and has a complementary and growing Search Practice which includes a specialist Practice for NED Search and also the Not for Profit/ Charity Sector and also has an international capability through www.WILgroup.net.

Charles founded the Interim Management Association in 1987 – www.InterimManagement.uk.com .

He also set up www.DevonshireHouseNetwork.co.uk , the successor organisation to the Devonshire House Management Club.  DHN is a people-focused membership club for Director-level professionals in leadership roles who have an instinctive focus on the human side of enterprise. DHN Members have a serious interest in all aspects of people at work and how people can flourish within whatever and wherever the work environment and context may be. Please see www.DevonshireHouseNetwork.co.uk

“In a sense, this website is a bit of a personal odyssey in that, after the past thirty five years in the Interim Management business, I am still having weekly conversations with senior executives looking to do Interim Management – or something similar – and not knowing where to start – or where the start actually is. So – writing it all down for the benefit of all others planning or embarking on a later-life, independently working lifestyle  – and collaborating with anyone with anything useful to say – seemed a sensible thing to do!”

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