What makes contracting so popular?
There is a big debate about keeping the system fair when paying taxes as self-employed compared to regular employees, and allowing ‘gig economy’ workers equal rights as their employed counterparts. But what makes contracting so popular that it magnifies so much attention?
The self-employed population has reached 4.86 million in the UK. Therefore, just over 15% of the entire workforce constitutes of freelancers and contractors.
Ten years ago, the number of contractors would have been tens of thousands, but today contractors constitute a significant quantity of the workforce and professional in the UK.
You may be wondering why we have seen such a significant shift? Why is it so popular these days? Read more to discover some environmental and motivational factors that aid the denser amount of contractors:
Technology has rocketed in the last 15-10 years, even five years. The speed and efficiency of the world is racing with an increased reliance on technology, with the publics expectations increasing. This causes fewer jobs in specific industries and a higher demand for technology in professional sectors.
Technology grows and advances, similar to humans says Maciek from Oxford Atelier photography oxford who is freelancing full time last 5 years. Two industries in particular that have a high concentration of freelancers and contractors are IT and Tech, demonstrating how people recognised opportunities and risen to the challenges available to them.
The standard Monday-Friday, nine-to-five decades ago used to be considered the norm and standard. The idea that there could be a different life to this white-collar worker way, was something not necessarily found.
This way of working is still not standard as the majority of workplaces are still behind the times, however, many have come to terms with this 21st century way of working. This includes flexible hours where the employees can arrive later or start earlier, or even complete work from home. Globalisation being a key factor it is important to have flexible business hours say Milosz from Chilli fruit Web Consulting London based but fully online digital consulting agency deploying only remote contractors.
Nowadays many desire to have a better work-life balance, people are gravitating towards jobs with this option available. There are many professionals now that are contractors, as defined industries don’t allow flexible hours except if the worker is a consultant or a contractor acting as their own boss.
Increase in agency and contract workers
A lot of industries rely on agency and contract workers to fill the temporary (even long-term roles) skills gaps that are vacant on specific projects or in operations. Other industries such as the healthcare industry have emergency staff on an ad-hoc basis so that periods of high demand are covered.
Part-time and contract roles available are dependant on factors such as fluctuating business, increased technology, economic uncertainty and change in work practices says Paul, director of PWD Roofing & Construction hiring builders in Oxfordshire UK . Furthermore, subcontracting talent enables businesses to upsell better products and services at stationary pricing due to overall labour costs being less.
The gig economy
This industry has seen an immense major increase during the last several years, with sites such as Monster, CV-Library and PeoplePerHour, being utilised by professionals looking for or offering their services for temporary projects.
The university graduates or people in their twenties are acknowledging the glitz and glamour of being a contractor and setting up a limited company immediately. You see many freelancers in the creative industries – thousands – who have realised the benefits of running a business themselves and being their own boss.
Almost five million people in the UK alone are contractors, the benefits being increased wage packet, development of skills, career autonomy as well as flexibility, choice and many more.
You can read more about becoming a contractor, by downloading this Ultimate Guide to Contracting where there is more information on the benefits and what options you have and why you need a dedicated specialist contractor accountants.