The Government’s Spring budget included fewer changes of note to Employment Lawyers than last year. Much of the budget was focused on the effects of the ‘gig economy’ and the rash of cases dealing with employment status, which has served to highlight the disparity between rights and taxes imposed on employees, workers and self-employed contractors. The Government announced changes that affect the self-employed including: a reduction in tax free dividend allowance from £5,000 down to £2,000 – which will have a significant impact on the self-employed, who tend to pay themselves through dividends. After announcing that Class 4 NICs (for the self-employed) would increase from 9% to 10% in 2018, with a further 1% increase in 2019, the Government changed its mind and has confirmed that this increase will not now be implemented. There may well be more changes once a Government commissioned review into employment practices in the modern economy has been finalised. This is expected in the summer. In addition, the Government announced £5m of funding returnships that is assistance for those who have been out of the workforce doing childcare etc. to return to work; and also announced that it would launch a consultation in the summer on the disparity between the rights of employed and self-employed.