Business organisations have praised Jeremy Corbyn's calls for greater support for the UK's self-employed workers.

In his first speech at a Labour conference as Labour leader, Mr Corbyn said self-employed workers should receive maternity and paternity pay.

Simon McVicker, director of policy at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), said: “We welcome the attention Mr Corbyn has placed on the self-employed and invite him to talk to us about the specific needs of people who work for themselves. The self-employed want a clear tax system, to be paid on time and to have fair business contracts. Additional support needs to maintain the self-employed's inherent flexibility, as this is where they can make the greatest contribution to the UK's economy."

He added: "It’s good to see Labour talking more about supporting the self-employed, but they need to be careful not to cast everyone in this group as vulnerable. The UK's 4.5 million self-employed are a huge contributor to the exchequer and most love what they do, accepting the trade-off between of giving up holiday pay and other entitlements in order to have the flexibility to choose how they work.

“IPSE has been calling for the self-employed to be able to access a form of maternity pay, so it's great that Labour are backing this. With the Government currently looking at maternity pay in its self-employment review we may be able to achieve cross party support on this issue. As with any support, it’s important to get the details right so it works in practice."

John Allan, national chairman for the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "The Labour Party says it’s looking for a positive partnership with business. Our members will be looking for more clarity from Mr Corbyn and his team on his plans for small firms within the business agenda, and we look forward to working with them to develop those ideas."