UK contractors face uncertain future with increased competition and changing legislation.
Improved work-life balance and higher earnings are the top reasons UK workers are going solo and pursuing careers as contractors – however there are risks. These are the findings of new research by Workr, a payroll and accountancy group catering to all types of flexible working arrangements.
Manchester city centre-based, Workr, one of the UK’s only business support groups to support all types of flexible working, recently surveyed 150 UK contractors. 45% said a flexible lifestyle was their main reason for ditching the ‘nine to five’, while more than a third (36%) are enticed by the prospect of higher income. However, despite the many benefits that come with working for yourself, 37% of respondents feel as though life as a contractor is more financially risky, with 40% admitting they dislike the uncertainty of not knowing where their next gig is coming from.
According to the research 45% of contractors believe that their future rates of pay could be impacted by increasing competition and legislation – such as IR35 – while 43% feel as though new legislation will also lead to more contractors moving to umbrella companies. These findings highlight the unpredictability of life as a freelance worker and the pressures of competing in an increasingly popular marketplace.
The newly launched Workr brand represents the coming together of four leading payroll and accountancy specialists for flexible workers: Walker Smith Global, Link Global Management, IMS Accountancy and Freelance Workr. Workr aims to ensure contractors are paid efficiently, have access to benefits, are protected and stay compliant wherever in the world they are working.
Matt Tyson, Managing Director at Workr comments: “The way we work is changing. One in four of us in the UK now works flexibly and we’re seeing a new generation of individuals enjoying the freedom and benefits that being a contractor can offer. We’re also witnessing progressive organisations benefiting from being able to develop and retain a flexible workforce as a key part of their talent strategy.
“Manchester has a booming freelance economy and a recent survey from Moneysupermarket.com showed that the city has the UK’s most buoyant freelance economy, with a higher than average number of freelancers advertising their services and a healthy average hourly rate. Affordable housing and rent prices and an abundance of wi-fi hotspots also contribute to the city’s popularity as a base for freelance workers.
“Workr is well placed to support Manchester’s self-employed community and can offer advice on a range of topics such as tax, company formation or legal for anyone considering or already enjoying life as a contractor. We understand the complexities of working for yourself and strive to take away some of the pains and risks that come with setting up on your own.”