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Lack of security is top worry for freelancers

Insecurity is the most difficult aspect of being self-employed according to the findings of new research.

A survey of 714 UK freelancers and contractors by Qdos Contractor has found that 47% of freelancers and contractors say “lack of security” is the most difficult aspect of self-employment.

Other key concerns facing freelancers are:

  • 32% find the complicated tax system the most difficult part;
  • 10% find separating work and personal life the most challenging;
  • 5% say isolation is the biggest problem;
  • 6% cite other issues including “lack of professional respect” and “irrational Government decisions”.

Seb Maley, ceo of Qdos Contractor, said: “Freelancing and contracting offers the opportunity for greater freedom, control and independence, but unfortunately does not bring those brave enough to strike out alone a huge amount of security. That said, ongoing skills shortages in the UK, and the changing nature of work means that demand for independent workers is consistently strong.

“In the past, independent workers have been able to enjoy certain, but limited, tax advantages when working through their own companies. These would somewhat balance out the risk of self-employment, and the lack of security and employee-like benefits such as holiday, illness, maternity and paternity pay.”

Maley is calling on the Government to do more for self-employed workers in the UK. “In many cases, established contractors can be satisfied working without employee-like benefits, and the lack of security is simply part and parcel of self-employment. However, recent changes to the tax system, which includes IR35 reform and the slashing of the tax-free dividend allowance have both reduced the benefits of working independently, without the offer of anything in return.

“It’s important that the Government focuses on building a fairer environment for those working independently, and one where the benefits of self-employment balance the risk and lack of security.”