Tag Archive | "freelance worker"

1 in 5 Self Employed Workers Are “Insecure”

We all know how common self employment is becoming in the UK, but is everybody satisfied? According to new research…NO!

This research came from the CRSE, also known as the Centre for Research on Self Employment, and the IES, also known as the Institute for Employment Studies…they both teamed up for a joint venture to find out more about the self employed community.

The community includes contractors and freelancers of course, which is becoming a common choice for people who want to quit their job, work for themselves and make more money.

Anyway, one of the most interesting statistics to be uncovered during the research is the fact that 1 in 5 self employed are what they call “insecure,” which amounts to roughly 825,000 workers.

What exactly do they mean by insecure anyway? Apparently it is those self employed workers who are on low pay and dependent on one main employer to give them work on a regular basis. They say this includes workers such as cleaners, drivers, and labourers.

Who knows exactly if this is true or not. For all we know, this report could be a complete waste of time by the CRSE and IES, and would find its true place in the bin (which I’m sure is where many of these research projects end up).

On the other hand, they could very well be onto something here, and perhaps nearly a million of our nations self employed are “insecure” and in need of help.

The other end of the spectrum paints a rather different picture however, as the research shows us that 198,400 of self employed people have high pay, mid-independence and are secure, while 162,000 have high pay, complete independence, and yes…security.

I’m sure this includes a lot of contractors and freelancers, because from what I’ve been hearing the job market in this particular self employment niche is very secure right now, to the point where many are going home with bags of cash each and every week.

This certainly is a boom time for anyone that wants to call themselves a contractor or freelancer, as companies need the talent and are willing to pay top money in order to secure it.

Make no mistake, there is no “insecurity” to be found here. Take IT contractors as a perfect example, who are really in demand right now and can sometimes command a stunning £700 a day for simple tasks.

It’s a goldmine no doubt, but will it last? Experts are often debating this very question, but in my opinion, I think if you have the skills then you should always be able to get good work and be well paid. No need to be insecure at all.

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Confidence or hubris? Contractors say bring it on in 2015

Whether it’s the quiet confidence of knowing something others don’t or it’s just plain straight up hubris, contractors say they’re ready to tackle 2015.

Or at least, that’s what new figures from a research study conducted on behalf of business funding company Liberis says. According to the survey, which polled around 1,000 small business owners including umbrella company contractors and freelance workers, a rather healthy 68 per cent of them felt that 2015 was going to be an excellent year when it comes to the health of their businesses.

Right, so that’s not too unreasonable a figure is it? Just a bit over two out of every three, not quite seven out of every ten. A majority, but not an overwhelming one. That’s not so out of touch with reality, is it? Well here’s the part where things get a bit out of hand. Just over half of the survey’s respondents said they have expectations of expanding their company over the next 12 months, with 40 per cent of them figuring they’ll have to take out lending in some form.

Still, that’s not the real kicker. What Liberis found out next most definitely is: out of that 40 per cent planning to seek those external funds, a full 75 per cent of them said they were predicting it will be quite easily to secure credit.

Now this is where my head started to spin. Does no one remember what a bloody debacle it’s been over the past few years to get British banks to do anything for anyone besides themselves? Are we simply sweeping it under the rug that the Funding for Lending scheme, this brilliant Government initiative that was supposed to get High Street handing out low-interest rate business loans and mortgages once more absolutely crashed and burned due to the extreme greed and cowardice of the British banking community? Am I the only one with a memory lasting longer than a goldfish in this country?

I sincerely hope that this 75 per cent of firms have a backup plan, because I don’t see High Street being quite amenable to the plight of the small business owner. Maybe if they have some peer-to-peer lending situation worked out, that might be just fine, but going to some High Street branch for cash? Best of luck. Don’t come crying to me when you end up getting shown the door, though.

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Contract work isn’t just a young person’s game any more

New research has revealed that the over-50s have been swelling the ranks of freelance workers and umbrella company contractors at a rather steady clip.

According to the Office of National Statistics, these older Brits are actually at the forefront when it comes to transitioning from a traditional permanent employment arrangement to self-employment instead. In fact, more than 7 out of every 10 Brits joining the ranks of the self-employed between 2008 and 2013 were over the age of 50 the ONS said.

In many ways I’m not truly surprised by this development. Freelancing and contracting often requires shedloads of experience on the part of a self-employed worker, and truly the only way to gain that kind of experience is after a long career down in the trenches so to speak. On top of that even some of the best and most experienced permanent employees suddenly found themselves sacked or made redundant in the wake of the credit crisis and resultant economic recession, leaving older Brits with the unenviable choice of delving back into the employment market flooded with jobseekers, many of which are available to hire for much less because they’re young and inexperienced. In a recession, which worker would you choose?

In other words, at first I’m sure that switching to a freelancing career was more of a matter of life and death than a true conscious choice. Survival trumps more or less every other goal, and if it means striking out on your own or working through an umbrella company in order to keep a roof over your head or your family fed, I don’t think anyone would choose otherwise. Of course as the years wear on and the economy finally begins to regain its feet the freelancing movement has become one that workers join voluntarily for the flexibility it offers – and the over-50 crowd is smart enough and experienced enough to see the benefits.

Besides, do you really want to report to a supervisor or boss that’s half your age and have him or her tell you what to do in that patronising tone of voice? I know I certainly wouldn’t – and I can wager that no one else out there feels the same way. It’s yet another perk as working for yourself instead of someone else.

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Scotland loves umbrella contractors!

It turns out that they’re not just a nation of sheep-shaggers: Scotland is positively the place to be if you’re an umbrella contractor, it seems!

Life north of the border is often satirised as barely a step above the Dark Ages, but it’s time to change our outlook on Scotland – especially since it’s become one of the best places to seek work as an umbrella company contractor or freelance worker. What’s the evidence that Scotland is the place? Well, how about new figures that reported there being some 128,000 temporary workers in March of this year – and that these figures have gone up by 10,000 from June of 2011, is that enough evidence for you?

The driving force behind all the sudden love for umbrella workers is likely due to the fact that firms are still looking to get work done but are reticent to hire on permanent employees. Companies have tightened their belts in order to better survive the economic doldrums the UK is navigating, and choosing interim workers over traditional employees positives saves shedloads of cash on payroll costs.

It’s much more cost effective to simply hire on a contractor on a per-project basis than it is to take on a new permanent employee – someone that might end up needing extensive training before he or she begins to be productive, mind you – and this is exactly what businesses are doing. There’s not even any corner-cutting involved here, especially since the majority of freelancers and contractors are highly skilled and qualified individuals that are already highly competent in their chosen fields.

Honestly I’m not surprised in the least; while high street banking executives keep saying that our economy is getting better and we’re recovering from the recession brought upon us by the credit crisis, permanent jobs are a bit thin on the ground. It simply makes sense to change to working temporary projects instead so at least you can keep paying the mortgage and putting petrol in the tank. Oh, and buying food – that’s always nice too, isn’t it? Malnutrition is a bit overrated, if you ask me.

I’m not saying that you’re going to be living high on the hog if you’re a contractor or a freelance worker, but you’ll at least be able to afford the important things in life a little easier – like a pint down at the local pub every once and a while. Sure, you might not think a nice lager on a Friday evening might not be a ‘necessity,’ but I assure you life is much better afterwards.

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Survey says Yorkshire new freelance worker hotspot

A new national survey discovered that Yorkshire is the best county for contractors, freelance workers, and umbrella service companies.

Sheffield, Huddersfield, Halifax, and Bradford were all found to be hotspots on a national level, according to the online flexible working resource that conducted the research survey. In fact, the Bradford area alone had 165 per cent more freelancers today than it had just 12 short months ago, while Halifax and Huddersfield saw increases of 123 per cent and 115 per cent respectively.

This new increase can be credited to Brits going in search of ways to maximise their money earning opportunities on a monthly basis. Other reasons thought to be why freelance working has grown so popular included Brits looking for a more flexible working arrangement and those looking to begin their own independent businesses.

Experts say that it is no coincidence that the number of people working in an interim capacity but in fact is indicative of a fundamental change happening in the UK labour market. Industry insiders have little faith that permanent employment positions will ever return to the levels they were prior to the recession, especially as firms are looking for ways to save costs by making use of freelancers in order to harness flexible working opportunities.

Simply taking on workers as they’re needed is much more cost-effective than hiring a permanent employee, and in these still uncertain economic times saving on your payroll costs can spell the difference between success and failure as a business.

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