The average self-employed person in the UK is falling far behind their full-time counterparts in terms of earnings, pensions, and insurance provision.
Research by financial services firm Drewberry, shows that 73% of self-employed Britons do not have a personal pension, while half of those that do, are not sure how much they have in their pot.
It was also found that these workers are twice as likely as full-time staff to have £200 or less of discretionary income a month, while just a quarter have life insurance, compared with 39% of other employees.
"This highlights the pressures that are being exerted by the on-going 'Uberisation' we're seeing in the UK's employment market," Drewberry director, Tom Conner, said.
"Last year we identified that the growth of the 'gig economy' meant that Britain's self-employed were fast becoming a 'financial underclass'. This year's results show that nothing has arrested the decline."
It was also found that two-thirds of the approximately 3.7 million self-employed Britons without pension provision, do not have one as they say they cannot afford it.
Among those that know how much they contribute to their pension, 91% put in 10% or less of their take home pay, while 34% didn't start contributing until they were at least 36, compared to 11% of full-time staff.
"Extending auto-enrolment to this group looks like a real 'life-line'. However, it could be a decade or more before average contributions reach worthwhile levels," Conner continued.
"In the meantime, the self-employed will be left to fend for themselves when it comes to pensions, and this hasn't worked out well so far."
The research also shows that only 5% of self-employed workers have critical illness cover, and just over 1% has income protection, despite 46% having less than £1000 in cash savings to fall back on, and no sick pay.
In addition, it was found that over 19% of today's self-employed are in what were once considered their 'retirement years' and so might struggle to find affordable cover.
"Even if you allow for those in this age bracket, it still means that in today's Britain there are over four million self-employed people whose entire livelihood is at risk if their health lets them down in the coming years," Conner added.