According to new survey data, nearly three in five freelancers cite the possibility of earning more money and getting more work as the main reasons they decided to go freelance. This equates to more than 935,000 freelancers in the UK today[CJ1] .
The survey asked 2,000 freelancers in the UK about why they decided to go freelance and some of the challenges they face. It was commissioned by Paraplus, the payroll umbrella company, a sister company of de Poel, the UK’s largest procurer of temporary agency labour.
According to the findings, 35% thought that by working as a freelancer they would get more work, and 24% thought they would get more money. The top barriers to going freelance were concerns about whether they would get regular income, with 36% of freelancers stating this as a worry. Other barriers included finding regular clients (24%) and managing their HMRC paperwork (18%).
Recruitment agencies were the top source for freelance work, with 33% of freelancers stating that they found their freelance projects via agencies. Only 23% of freelancers said they got their work through job adverts.
Phil McDonald, Managing Director of Paraplus, comments: “What is clear is that people are making a career choice to go freelance. Self-employed individuals have flourished throughout the recession in the UK, with around 40% of all new jobs since 2010 being created by freelancers and contractors, according to the TUC.
“However, working as a freelancer means that the onus is on the individual to manage their relationship with HMRC and this must be addressed from the outset. When it comes to managing your pay and being tax compliant, ignorance isn’t an excuse. Our research also shows that 37% of freelancers have received a fine or penalty for failing to comply with HMRC legislation – money that could have easily been saved with a little planning or working with a third party advisor.”