Tag Archive | "freelance"

I’m a Freelance Contractor and I’m Tired of Hearing This…


It a great time be a freelance contractor in the UK, no doubt about that, but sometimes it can be frustrating to hear people say the same things, over and over.

The simple fact of the matter is that explaining yourself is part and parcel of the self employed lifestyle, especially if you work from home on a freelancing or contracting basis.

Family, friends, neighbours and complete strangers, are curious, confused, and even downright baffled when you are still chilling in your pyjamas at 2 in the afternoon.

This often leads to a barrage of comments and questions, which at first you don’t mind responding to…but after a while you just want to ignore.

When are you planning to get a real job? This is one of the questions that gets asked the most to freelance contractors, and many are tired of hearing it.

Fortunately, being self employed is a real job, and even if other people will never accept your answers, at least you can take satisfaction from the knowledge you probably make more than they do, while working less hours. Take that!

“I wish I could work part time,” is another statement you might hear from members of the general public as they witness you sitting in the garden in your dressing gown at 4pm.

What they don’t realise, of course, is that the amount of hours you put in to a job has nothing to do with the amount you are paid.

Traditional employees may very well clock in and out every day and do their 8 hours, but only 1 or 2 hours of that is typically productive. In contrast, a self employed freelancer can put in 4 hours of focused work and get way more done.

Do you offer a cheap rate, mate…rates for mates? No doubt many self employed people have heard those words, to the point where even the slightest inclination that a mate is about to ask for a cheap rate, or even a freebie, well, it sends you running.

It would be nice if you could work for cheap whenever friends and family needed something doing, but you can’t get away from the fact you need to make a living, and in the freelance and contractor world that means charging as much as possible…not working for free.

“Work at home jobs are scams.” You’ve no doubt heard that one, and are tired of hearing it if you hang around with a lot of people in traditional employment.

It seems they just can’t comprehend how someone can avoid commuting to and from work everyday in traffic, then avoid the office politics and taking orders from a boss, and then avoid even having to leave the house…to the point where getting up at lunch time is a regular thing.

“You will have to get a real job soon,” they say for the 100th time. Yes, you are tired of hearing it, but you know the truth which means you get the last laugh.

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“DON’T Show Me The Money,” Say Contractors


Working is all about that money, wouldn’t you agree? Apparently not, as a recent survey found that in the contracting world other things are more important.

The survey was conducted by a contractor tax advisory firm who wanted to gain an insight into exactly how UK contracting professionals think and act. The results of the survey are fascinating

What they found is that 48% of contractors said that more independence and control are the main reasons why they wanted to become self employed in the first place. No doubt they were frustrated with lack of control when you have to bow down to a boss every day. Look who’s laughing now though.

Compare this to only 31% of contractors who said they were doing it primarily for the money, and it’s plain to see that many of our nations self employed, and particularly contractors, prefer being in control of their own destiny over taking home a big bag of cash at the end of the week.

That isn’t to say that contractors don’t care about money. Of course they do. It’s just that it isn’t their number 1 motivating factor in getting up everyday and looking for contractor jobs.

The survey asked 715 contractors their opinions, so you can be sure the answers come from a broad spectrum within the industry.

Other statistics uncovered by the tax advisory firm include the fact that 12% of contractors make it a main priority to strike a good balance between work and life. In other words, they take their work seriously, but also want to have some good times as well.

Compare this to your average worker drone who slaves away for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, and it’s easy to see why the world of freelance contracting has become so attractive in recent years to the UK public.

9% of those surveyed did put themselves in the “other reasons” box when asked about why they became a contractor. Some might have been made redundant for example, while others just wanted to give something else a try, no doubt.

A spokesperson for the company behind the survey had this to say: “Self employment gives people more freedom and control over their careers and lives, and the largest proportion of contractors state this as the main reason for striking out alone simply highlights that independence is priceless.”

Well said by the spokesperson if you ask me. I think they understand exactly what motivates a lot of contractors right now in the UK.

Where exactly in the contracting world is independence valued the most? According to the survey that prize goes to IT, where self employed IT contractors really do enjoy having the freedom to more or less do whatever they want.

The good news is that IT contractors are also paid very generously, especially in certain areas of the IT market where many skills are highly sought after.

So IT contractors are having their cake and eating it too, and with the vast majority of other contractors enjoying their cake…the future is looking bright in the UK contractor scene.

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NO Tax Cut for Contractors Says Chancellor


If you are a contractor in the UK then you probably want to pay less tax. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be a tax cut any time soon.

That is according to the chancellor Philip Hammond, who recently banged his fist down on the table and demanded…NO tax cut for contractors!

This news will no doubt come as a shock to the millions of contractors, freelancers, gig workers, and self employed employed people around the country, because if you remember, it was only a few months ago that Mr Hammond said we would do “whatever we have to do” when Brexit takes place in order to stay competitive.

Many experts thought he meant a tax drop would be on the cards, in a bid to attract highly skilled contractors to relocate on a permanent basis to the UK, but it appears this is not what he meant.

Instead, there will be no tax cuts and no attempts to get one over on our European neighbours. It actually seems that everybody is getting on really well right now, as the Brexit negotiation take place and the European leaders try to work this whole thing out.

So everybody is friends at the moment and it’s all smiles…but how long will that last? Not long in my opinion, and if our soon to be ex European partners try to pull a fast one in the negotiation room, then it wouldn’t surprise me if Philip Hammond starts to talk about tax cuts once again.

Is it really fair that the chancellor is using UK contractors as pawns though? A few months ago he got everyone’s hopes up with all this talk about less tax, and then, without a moments hesitation he changes his mind and acts like nothing ever happened.

Meanwhile, the millions of hard working self employed people are let down once again. Is it any wonder that the Conservatives lost votes at the recent General Election? I don’t think so.

It had a lot to do with the senseless tax grab the chancellor tried to get away with if you ask me, and that is why many people stayed away or voted elsewhere at the election.

Well, if people were not impressed with the tax grab, something tells me those people (and even more) are not going to be impressed about the chancellor promising a tax cut and then backtracking only a few months later.

A tax cut might have been a bit of pie in the sky anyway, with one political correspondent saying that due to the Conservatives losing seats in Parliament then getting a bill passed for less tax would probably be a struggle.

Wouldn’t it be great that instead of politicians, we had contractors and business owners in Parliament making the decisions? I’m sure the tax rate would quickly go down, and millions of self employed would enjoy filling out their tax return every year.

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Government Scrap Tax Grab, Admit Defeat


If you read this blog every week then you will no doubt remember how I reported on the cheeky tax grab the government tried to bring in at the budget.

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, announced to the country he was going to tax the self employed whether they liked it or not. Well, millions of hard working Brits didn’t like it, and after a national outcry that no-one in the government expected, the Chancellor quickly back tracked on his plans.

At the time I mentioned how this was a victory for contractors, freelancers, small business owners, and self employed people all around the country, although I hinted it might only be a small victory, because no doubt those politicians would have another go in a few months.

It doesn’t seem that way now though, as the government recently admitted defeat on their unpopular tax grab, with Deputy PM Damien Green saying that it won’t be revisited.

Something tells me the Conservatives poor showing at the recent General Election might have a lot to do with this back track, as they make an attempt to get the millions of self employed people back on their side.

Rightly so if you ask me. Politicians seems to forget that it’s self employed contractors, freelancers and small business owners that prop up this fragile economy and keep everything running smoothly.

When it comes time to cast their vote many don’t forget how they have been treated by the government, and it’s no wonder that a lot decided to stay away during the recent General Election, or even vote for another party.

In my opinion, the Prime Minister and her cabinet really need to sit down and work out ways they can do more for our nations self employed army, rather than just looking at them as a way to make more money every time they need to get some cash.

Let’s face it, with Brexit just around the corner the self employed are now more important than ever before, so let’s hope they keep their word this time and we don’t hear any more talk about tax hikes.

Right now, as we speak, it’s estimated that 5 million people in the UK are classed as self employed, which is around 15% of the workforce.

However, with the gig economy continuing to get more popular and the freelance lifestyle something that a lot of people want to have…then it’s not surprising that many experts are expecting nearly half of the workforce to be in some form of self employment in 10 years time.

So when you consider that many of the voters in upcoming elections will be self employed, then it’s about time politicians started catering to their needs. Dropping the tax hikes is a good start.

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Only Digital Banking Please…We Are Self Employed


Do you ever get tired of cashing cheques and paying in money at your local bank? A digital banking company might just change that.

They are called Revolut, and so far have been a big success in the consumer banking market. Now they are eager to move into the business arena, with self employed people such as contractors, freelancers, gig workers and small business owners right at the top of their list.

So far, 12,000 businesses have signed up for the digital banking service offered by Revolut, and if reports are to be trusted this includes a few FTSE 100 companies.

You don’t have to be a big business doing millions of pounds a month to use Revolut though…it is open to any self employed person that wants to move their banking into the 21st century.

The service starts at only £25 a month, and then moves all the way up to £1000 a month depending on how much you are banking with them and what kind of customer benefits you receive. You get the first month for free to give it a try.

Once signed up, you get a business banking card that can be used in 25 different currencies and has no fees when used. Not a bad deal if you ask me, especially if you do a lot of business with clients and companies from abroad.

Traditional banks often take high fees for themselves if you receive money from abroad, and this usually comes with a terrible conversion rate. It appears that Revolut might just be the alternative option that self employed people in the UK have been looking for.

Not only that, but when you consider that most contractors and freelancers these days get paid online without any cash or cheques, then it’s easy to see why digital banking is now a viable solution.

The founder and CEO of Revolut, Nik Storonsky, had this to say…”I have great confidence that Revolut for Business will experience the same demand as our consumer service has.”

I’m sure it will Nik, and many experts agree with me, with some commenting that Revolut for business is a game changer.

Also, I’ve heard from some insider sources that Revolut are planning to use this as a springboard to get into mortgages and loans for the self employed.

This is definitely an area that is currently being under served, with many freelancers, contractors, gig workers, and small business owners out there who just can’t get the finance they need, despite making a decent amount of money every month.

Let’s wait to find out what happens with the mortgages and loans, and of course, with this new digital banking service. Something tells me it is going to be successful and we will hear a lot more about Revolut in the coming months.

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Deliveroo Fight Back With Pay Per Delivery for Drivers


The takeaway delivery company Deliveroo have been in the news a lot recently, mostly being accused of hiring employees under the guise of “contractors.”

One of the arguments being used against Deliveroo is that in some cities they do pay drivers or couriers by the hour, typically getting a set rate and then £1 per delivery, which means in many people’s opinion this makes them employees and not contractors.

Not content to just sit back and be attacked in the press, Deliveroo have decided to hit back at their critics, by bringing in a new pay structure for their self employed drivers.

What they have come up with is a pay per delivery structure as an option for all workers. Last year Deliveroo actually tried to make this mandatory for everybody, but it now seems to be voluntary.

Will many workers take up this new pay structure from Deliveroo? Probably not. While some drivers appear to be okay with being classed as a contractor and self employed, there are many that want full employee rights. Thousands protested last year, and there is expected to be protests this year.

I just think that if these drivers took the job on the understanding that it was a self employed position, then what are they complaining about? If they want traditional based employment where they are classed as an employee then go to another company. It really is as simple as that, but of course, many don’t want to listen.

Interestingly, after a bit of testing Deliveroo have said that the Pay Per Delivery structure, on average, earns their drivers £12 an hour, while those on the hourly based structure only get around £9.50 an hour.

£2.50 extra per hour and a lot of drivers are not interested…it really does make you wonder if some of these workers are actually interested in “working” or if they just want to get a cushy job with an hourly rate where they do the bare minimum.

Drivers who use Pay Per Delivery also have the ability to see orders as they come through the system, and have the option to reject any deliveries they don’t want to make. Sounds like a good deal if you ask me.

Also, let’s not forget that contractor drivers who work for Deliveroo also get flexibility in when they work and for how many hours. This means some weeks they might only do 20 hours, while others it could be 70 hours. They can work around their schedule and lifestyle rather than the other way round.

I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of Deliveroo in the news or the employee versus self employed debate.

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Freelance Friendly Parties? The General Election Explained


It’s only 2 days until the UK General Election, and from what I’m hearing many freelancers and contractors are still undecided about who to vote for.

Many of the nearly 5 million self employed workers in the UK are wondering which party is concerned with the issues that affect many freelancers, contractors, gig workers, and small business owners.

Some pundits have said that a vote for the Tories might not be the best option, especially when you consider the recent tax grab they tried to get out of the self employed. Fortunately, people power won the day, and Mr Hammond backed down and decided to forget about more tax…for now.

I’m sure that many freelance professionals who normally vote Conservative might very well be thinking twice now, even to the point where they are going to vote for another party.

What are the other options though…Labour? According to some, they have been making the most “freelance friendly” noises during the campaign trail for the General Election, but if you ask me, it’s probably just a case of politicians making promises they wouldn’t keep if given the power.

One thing Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has promised to do is keep National Insurance Contributions as they are…if the nation decides to elect him as Prime Minister.

Also, he has gone on record to say that Labour would be the voice of the small business owner around the country.

He would also scrap the Making Tax Digital plans, although if recent reports are to be trusted then it seems that it’s already been forgotten about.

Not only that, but Mr Corbyn has said that companies who pay freelancers late, or don’t pay at all, should be given tougher punishments. This is something I definitely agree with and an area where more needs to be done.

However, would the Labour leader follow through with his promises if given the keys to Number 10. Something tells me he wouldn’t…although something also tells me that he won’t be Prime Minister.

Who knows though? Most people were expecting a Hilary Clinton victory over Donald Trump and look what happened there…It’s now President Trump.

Also, who can forget the Brexit vote, with many so called “experts” predicting an easy victory for remaining in Europe…nobody really saw coming what did happen, and now as we speak Britain are negotiating an exit from the European Union.

Who knows? Maybe on Friday morning we will be waking up to a victory speech from Prime Minister Corbyn, and then freelancers and contractors around the country will wait to see if he delivers on his promises.

So who should you vote for on Thursday? That choice is yours, although if you really can’t decide then you might want to stay away and not vote at all this time around.

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New Figures Suggest 176,000 Self Employed People in Wales


Wales is quickly becoming the UK hub of self employment, with 176,000 now working for themselves. That is 32% of new jobs in the country.

Many of these people are no doubt contractors, freelancers, and gig workers, while others have taken the route of starting a small business in order to make their own income.

Take Tom Maunder for example, a car body repairer from Wales who had been made redundant 3 times. After getting his P45 for a third time he decided enough was enough, and instead of looking for another job went the self employment route instead.

Actually, he ended up buying the small company from where he had been given his walking papers before, thanks to a loan from his parents and a bit of savings.

This is the type of entrepreneurship I like to see among workers in the UK. Many people in Tom’s position could have simply given up and spent the next few years signing on down the local job centre, and this is what many people do.

However, Tom decided that if employers were not prepared to give him a chance then he might as well make his own opportunities, and that is why he has gone on to be a success, with help from his family along the way.

It just goes to show that self employment in Wales is still going strong, and as long as there are people like the Maunder family then I don’t think anything is going to change soon.

Around 1 in 5 new jobs in Wales are to do with self employment, whether it be contractors, freelance professionals, or small business owners, and it wouldn’t surprise me at all if in 10 years time this figure is 2 in 5 jobs…or even 50% of all new jobs.

The new figures do show that the area in Wales does matter when it comes to self employment, with towns that have historically been involved with industry having the lowest rate of people working for themselves, while areas that are more known for farming have the most.

In Powys it is said that 1 in 3 people are self employed farmers. Also, many of these rural communities in Wales have other businesses such as cafes, restaurants, and hotels, where the self employed do a great trade year after year.

Away from the town and villages we have the cities of Cardiff and Swansea, which are quickly making a name for themselves as the place to be in the UK if you want to work in freelance industries.

The cost of living in these cities in Wales is significantly lower than places like London and Birmingham, which means many gig workers are thinking about relocating to Wales.

So self employment in Wales is looking good, and things are only going to get better if you ask me.

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Over 15% of Workers in Harlow are Self Employed


According to a new survey, one in six workers from the town of Harlow in Essex are classed as self employed, with many of those being contractors.

It just goes to show that even in smaller towns around the country self employment is in full swing, where a lot of people are now deciding to get rid of a boss and start working for themselves.

Interestingly, there was similar survey conducted in Harlow around 10 years ago, where at that time the self employment percentage was below 10%. It makes you wonder what the figure will be in another 10 years time? My guess would be at least 25%.

Of course, you get more self employed workers in big cities such as London and Birmingham, but that is where a lot of contractor and freelancer jobs are to be found.

In places like Harlow the amount of opportunities is not on that kind of scale, but things are improving, especially now the internet has made it possible to work from home without having to commute to an office or place of business.

I’m sure that many self employed workers in Harlow have contracts and jobs from some very big companies, it’s just they don’t have to make the move to London in order to make a living, although some contractors might commute to the capital I’m sure.

Other towns in Essex have also witnessed a boom in the number of self employed workers. Take Colchester for example, where 10 years ago the number of people working for themselves was at 8,800. Fast forward to the present day, and according to the survey there is now 15,500 people who are classed as self employed.

Epping Forest has the most amount of self employment in Essex though, with 22% of the people there being classed as working for themselves.

There is also no doubt many public sector contractors based in the towns of Essex, although I’m sure that many of them are not impressed with the recent IR35 changes.

If reports are to be trusted, then a lot of contractors in the public sector are going to be leaving soon…following the thousands who have already packed their bags and gone elsewhere.

The good thing about self employment, either in Essex or anywhere else in the country, is that there is just so much opportunity.

As long as you have some determination and a desire to succeed, then there are many different potential avenues to pursue, whether it’s as a contractor, freelance professional, gig worker, or small business owner.

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27% Leave School With No Career Advice According to Study


Just over a quarter of Brits leave Secondary school without any kind of career advice…that is according to a new study of over 2000 adults.

This has led to a whole generation of school leavers who are unsure of the career path that is right for them, with many deciding to stay in higher education rather than joining the workforce.

It might also be part of the explanation why so many people are now joining the ranks of freelancers, gig workers and contractors, because instead of going right into a career, they now take the time to explore different options before finally deciding that working for themselves is the best way forward.

The study also went on to give us some more interesting statistics, such as:

29% of workers are considering a career change soon, with self employment being high on their list of options.

Only 10% of those surveyed believed the career advice they did get in school was impartial, with many having the opinion that teachers and other staff were biased towards certain professions.

30% did know the career they wanted to pursue when leaving school, although many do change their mind after a few years in the workforce…with freelancing and contracting being good alternatives once they become dissatisfied with their boss.

A further 45% mentioned that teachers were often pushy towards getting students to go towards a career that required a university education, despite the fact that university fees have become way more expensive in recent years. This has led some people to wonder if teachers get a commission for recommending this path.

42% also said that parents were supportive of their career path, even if they decided to change course after a few years and go into something else like self employment.

My opinion on all of this is that career advice in schools is going to become less and less relevant, as students decide to educate themselves on what career path to pursue.

Thanks to the internet, it’s now possible to research potential careers and university courses by themselves, rather than having a teacher giving the information.

Also, I think we are going to be seeing more people wait longer until they make a decision about their career.

Years ago, you were expected to know exactly what path to take by the age of 18. These days, people are waiting longer, with many deciding to go travelling and experience the world before making a decision

It’s not uncommon for a 25 year old to still be considering career options, with freelancing, gig working, and contracting being popular options once they do decide to enter the workforce.

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Bank of Ireland to Introduce Mortgages for Contractors


I’ve said it before and I will say it again…getting a mortgage if you are a contractor is tough. Most people who apply are declined, that is the reality.

Fortunately, Bank of Ireland, UK Division, want to change the way self employed people and contracting professionals are seen by the mortgage industry, and that is why they have just announced a new financial service in the marketplace.

This new mortgage service by Bank of Ireland is tailored towards self employed contractors who have been doing business for at least 12 months and have current contracts and bank account statements to verify they are earning an income.

What I have been hearing from industry insiders is that Bank of Ireland will be lending up to 90% LTV, with a minimum contracting income of £50,000 and affordability that is based on 80% of a contractors income. This has yet to be confirmed by the Bank themselves though.

While it is good to see Bank of Ireland getting into the contractor mortgage market, there is still many banks and lenders out there who don’t want anything to do with the self employed. This is despite millions of people in the UK who are now their own boss, and in many cases earn more than people who have a “traditional job.”

Yes, I do understand that mortgage lenders want to reduce their risk and only lend money they are reasonably sure can be paid back, but at the end of the day, contractors, freelancers, and the self employed in general are becoming more and more common, which means I think they have to start standing up and taking notice.

The Bank of Ireland, UK Division, have decided to do it, but how many well known banks and lenders are going follow suit? I think it could be a while until we see big brands offering mortgages to contractors on a regular basis, although at some point they will have to start taking notice as more people check the self employed box when filling in that mortgage application.

My only thought about this new mortgage service from Bank of Ireland is that 12 months trading history might not be enough time to really get a good idea about the suitability of a client.

In my opinion, 5 years is a much better indication of whether or not someone has the right income level for a mortgage or loan.

If you start making mortgage loan decisions based on 12 months worth of income in the contracting world, then we could be taking a step backwards if you ask me…back to the days when getting a mortgage was easy and lenders were approving people like money was going out of fashion.

What we are looking for here is a good balance. Easier for legitimate contractors with a good track record to get a mortgage, but no so easy that anybody with a few months of income can get a mortgage. There needs to be common sense.

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UK Population “Optimistic” About Entrepreneurship


In a recent study it was revealed that people in the UK were more optimistic about working for themselves, compared to other European countries.

These findings are no doubt going to surprise many experts, who have long been claiming that factors such as Brexit will mean less British people decide to do things like start a business, become a contractor, and get started in the gig economy. Well, according to this study the opposite is true.

Out of those asked, 44% of people in the UK said it was the best country to go down the self employed route, with 57% saying they were optimistic about the economy.

This doesn’t surprise me at all to be honest, because despite all of the negativity we keep hearing about in the news, the reality of the situation is that many Britons are hard working, ambitious, and want to work for themselves…and many won’t let anything stop them.

Sure, Brexit might cause a few problems with the economy, and yes, nothing is ever perfect…but when you are determined to succeed then nothing can stop you, and it seems that many people in the UK have this mindset.

Something tells me we are going to be alright, this nation of ours, as long as entrepreneur’s, small business owners, contractors, freelancers…they all keep pushing forward and don’t let anything or anybody stop them.

What appears to be even more encouraging is that younger people are more interested in becoming their own boss, with 76% of 18 to 24 year olds saying this is their goal. Compare this to 48% of 50 to 64 year olds, and it’s easy to see why UK economy is only going to become stronger, no matter what happens in Europe.

That isn’t to say that everyone is in support of Brexit though, as the study found that many people do have some concerns about becoming isolated from our European neighbours.

For example, 30% wondered about what our access to the single market will be like once Brexit has taken place, which of course, is very important for anyone that wants to do business with a company in Europe.

Of course, we don’t even know for sure exactly how much Britain is going to leave the European Union, so it’s difficult to predict exactly what is going to happen.

Back to the study and it was found that the 2 main reasons for wanting to become self employed were financial success (48%) and freedom and independence (47%).

You know, I hear this a lot from all you contractors, freelancers and gig workers out there…you just want to make a decent amount of money, but most importantly, you want to be your own boss and set your own schedule.

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40% of Brits will Never Retire According to Survey


In a brand new survey by experts, it was found that 40% of British people in the workforce believed they will never get to retire.

This isn’t because they don’t want to of course. No…it’s because they won’t have enough money to retire, which means they will be have to keep on working well beyond the retirement age into their 70’s and even 80’s.

In my opinion it isn’t just employed people that should be thinking about this, contractors and the self employed in general must also be planning for their retirement.

As I’ve talked about before on this blog, there are many contractors who simply don’t save any money for retirement and don’t put anything into a pension, instead, hoping to rely on the State Pension to take care of them when they get to 65.

Well, some news for anybody expecting to do this. For one, the eligible age for a State Pension is going up soon, to 67 I think, although many experts predict it could be 70 in the near future. If you still have 30 years to go until you are around retirement age where will it be then? It might very well be 80! That is if there is any such thing as a State Pension by that time.

Not only that, but a basic State Pension doesn’t provide you with much money on a weekly basis, and with everything getting more expensive it really is nothing more than spending money for most people.

That is why I am always telling contractors, gig workers, freelance professionals…whoever…you must be putting some money away into a pension or some kind of savings. If you don’t then you probably won’t ever retire, just like the 40% of people asked in the survey.

Interestingly, there was differences of opinion in the survey depending on where you lived. For example workers in London didn’t have much optimism about retiring, with 45% saying they will always be clocking in, while only 32% of people in Scotland agreed.

Maybe North of the border they know something that people in the capital don’t know? Or perhaps they are just more educated when it comes to saving money and being smart about pensions? I think that is probably right.

There are some contractors who don’t ever want to retire though, and in actual fact they would call themselves already retired.

These are the people that work from their laptop, working a few hours that suit them but using most of their time taking breaks to do things they enjoy. A good lifestyle if you can get it, but for most Britons this isn’t a reality.

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Research Shows Self Employed Work 10 Hours Less


If you thought working for an employer was the best option then it’s time to reconsider, as new research shows self employed people work 10 hours less a week.

Not only that, but the research also shows that they make £5000 more per year than the average salary, bringing in £33,000 a year compared to £27,000.

This includes umbrella contractors of course, and it doesn’t surprise me one bit as I’m always hearing stories of people who quit their job to become self employed and are now making more money working for themselves.

These statistics were all taken from the “definite study of the self employed” where 5,010 people in the UK were surveyed. Of those asked, 67% commented they were now better off financially now than when working for a boss, with 65% saying they now have more time to do the activities they want.

I’m sure they do, because when you think about it, if self employed people work 10 hours less a week, then based on a 5 day working week that is an extra 2 hours a day. Who wouldn’t want that? It’s much better to be spending time with family and friends rather than sitting at an office desk or being in traffic on the way home.

It’s also worth noting that many self employed people do work from home, or are at least based from home. This means that the commute is often no longer there, which means the time you save from working for yourself might even be more than 10 hours a week.

So why are more people than ever before starting to look at becoming self employed? When asked in the survey, 77% said they wanted more control of their work day, while 65% said the thought of being their own boss was something they liked.

Interestingly, 47% mentioned that lack of workplace politics was a motivating factor. This is something that I hear a lot, as it seems that many companies are now more like a high school drama than a place of work.

It’s much better to work on your own in my opinion, although this isn’t something that appeals to everyone. Some people would prefer to have the office politics I guess, and if that is your thing then becoming self employed might not be for you.

Although the research does show that self employed people work, on average, 10 hours less a work than people who have a job, don’t forget that it is not always like this at first. When you start working for yourself you might have to work more hours, so make sure you are aware of that.

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Theresa May Advisor Criticises the Gig Economy


We all know the gig economy is becoming popular among contractors. However, a key advisor to the prime minister doesn’t like it at all.

Matthew Taylor, who is currently the future of work advisor to Theresa May has gone on record to say that the current gig economy is going to cost the government billions of pounds over the next few years, mainly because it means contractors and self employed people in general will be paying around £2000 less in tax a year.

How has he come up with this figure you might be wondering? It all comes down to companies such as Deliveroo and Uber, where many of the freelance contractors who work for these companies pay, on average, less tax than someone who is employed and earns the same amount of money per year.

This is no doubt why people, including many in the government, are questioning the employment status of workers in the gig economy, and saying that many times someone who is self employed should actually be employed.

Well, if they pay more tax then of course you are going to say that, as it means more money for the government.

If there is one thing the government doesn’t like it is losing out on money, and that is why I think we are going to be hearing more about the gig economy and the worker status of contractors and self employed.

We’ve already seen how the taxi app Uber have come under scrutiny recently, most notably where a judge decided that some of the freelance contractors working for them should be classified as employees instead.

Recent figures show that Uber now have 40,000 self employed drivers in the UK, but it makes you wonder how long they are going to remain this way.

I’m sure if Matthew Taylor or other people in the government have anything to do with it then it won’t be long until we see the vast majority, or even all of the drivers become employees, even if this isn’t what the drivers themselves want.

Interestingly, this is coming at a time when many well known retailers and companies are now starting to adopt the Uber style self employment model. Are they wasting their time though? Especially when so many people in power seem to want an end to this kind of gig economy.

Who knows, if it turns out that most people want to become a freelance contractor in a gig economy instead of an employee and they make their voice heard, then surely the government will have to stand up and take notice.

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Minimum of £67,000 Would get Contractors to Quit


What would it get you to quit the contracting lifestyle and back into employment? A new survey found that an offer of at least £67,000 a year would do it.

For many people though, not even an offer of two or three times that amount would get them to give up on being their own boss and going to work for someone else.

When you consider that the average salary in the UK is £27,000, it just goes to show you that contractors really enjoy what they do, and it isn’t just about the money.

There are many contracting professionals that earn more than £67k a year of course, such as the ex Google employee who gave up a cushy 6 figure salary to start working for himself…and now he makes more and has more free time.

I think that is what it all comes down to at the end of the day…having more free time and doing what you want and when you want.

People that are employed and working in an office all day can’t do that, but when your office is your kitchen table and you don’t have to get out of bed until 9am, then for most self employed people even £67,000 wouldn’t be enough to get them to start commuting to work again every day.

It’s what I keep telling people all the time…most contractors really value their time and doing the things they enjoy like going to the being with family, gym, sports, travel, and hobbies. When you are self employed then you set your work around these kind of activities, rather than the other way round.

In a different survey where employed people were surveyed, 42% said they would like to start their own business or become a contracting professional within the next 5 years. This doesn’t surprise me at all, and it just goes to show how the dream of becoming your own boss is now becoming a reality for millions of UK residents.

Some experts are even saying that 50% of the UK workforce will be self employed within 10 years. You know, I think that is a bit optimistic, but the fact is that more people than ever before are deciding to go it alone…whether it be as a contractor, freelancer, gig worker or by starting a business, so I could certainly imagine a time where half of the workers are self employed.

For now though, to those of you who are self employed enjoy your more free time and less hours working, but if you did receive an offer for £67,000 tomorrow then it would certainly be a nice choice to have, although for the majority of you I think I know what the answer would be.

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