> and can take out income protection insurance if they wish to further minimise risk
No, no they can't. You can get sickness cover but it's very expensive unless you choose the 'terminal illness' cover. And you can get jury service cover, which will do about 2 weeks. But that policy and many others rely on you actually being in a contract for them to work. If your income is 0 because you don't have a contract, no insurance is gonna cover that other than your own savings. And as you can get walked at any time with no notice, there is a definite risk.