Justin Small, founder and CEO of Future Strategy Club comments on the importance of the freelance sector post-lockdown.
The world of work has changed dramatically over the last year, with COVID-19 challenging freelancers in every possible way – from struggling to find work and lack of job security to isolation, limited access to government support schemes and the new IR35 taxation. In fact, there are now 700,000 fewer freelancer contractors than there were at the start of 2020.
Yet as lockdown restrictions ease and offices begin to re-open, the freelance economy has begun to boom, with the IPSE revealing that the demand for freelance work has now drastically increased.
Today, freelancers earnings are up by a third, with an average rise to £20,778 in the first quarter of 2021. This increase is welcome news for many freelance contractors after earnings hit an average of £15,709 last summer. Alongside this, many freelancers are now contracting longer hours and therefore, upping their day rates to an average of £445. This comes after many spent around five and a half weeks in every three month period during the crisis not working.
As the freelance economy begins to boom, more people now than ever before want to begin freelancing. Life as a freelancer comes with a continuous stream of benefits. To name a few; flexibility, higher job satisfaction, better income, variety and ultimately, becoming your own boss. This is why many individuals, especially high-level talent, have begun to look towards establishing themselves outside the norms of the traditional workplace post-lockdown.
Justin Small, founder and CEO ofFuture Strategy Clubcomments on the importance of the freelance sector post-lockdown:
“This year has been particularly tough for freelancers, with many still struggling from the pandemic’s detrimental knock-on effect and the news of the IR35 tax rule. At Future Strategy Club, we recognise the importance of freelancers and aim to support them through these difficulties.
Freelancers are a vital part of our economy, with more than five million self-employed people in the UK, representing 15.3% of workers. Freelance talent is particularly important at the moment, as short-term, outside talent can bring a fresh perspective to businesses who are struggling, and integrate a new, more flexible ethos to firms who are looking for the best way to accommodate new business models and legislations. In a time of economic turmoil and uncertainty, funds and resources may be low, utilising freelance talent also allows firms looking for specific talent to find it quickly and without breaking the bank.”