Despite the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, the UK’s workforce appears to be benefitting from increased wages and high employment rates.
The Office for National Statistics announced this week that UK employment rates were at an all-time high in early 2019, and the month of June saw pay rises soar to 3.9%, the highest rate since the financial crisis over a decade ago. A competitive labour market has ensured that salaries have been trending upwards ever since 2014, consistently outstripping inflation and providing the UK’s workers with more financial security.
However, while these figures paint a very positive picture for the majority of workers in the UK, freelancers are may be less likely to feel the benefits. The archaic and inconsistent payment structure of freelance work poses several problems for freelance workers. In a recent study conducted by ETZ across 2000 Brits, a staggering 4.8 million people – 15% – who are currently working in a freelance capacity or have done previously declared that they are forced to turn to pay day lenders or short term finance solutions due to inconsistent payments, while 4.5 million of those surveyed – 14% – said that they are considering leaving, or have already left freelance work, as a result.
At ETZ, we recognise the power and the potential of the gig economy. Freelance workers can take on a myriad of projects, respond to the various needs of businesses and provide services with such flexibility and variety. It is often hard for their salaried counter parts to match this fluidity of working. But the uncertainty and inconsistency faced by freelancers is discouraging them from their chosen profession; this isn’t hard to believe when 8 million surveyed freelancers said that late and inconsistent payments have prevented them from paying for big ticket commitments such as weddings, holidays, and even simple home improvements.
With this in mind, the agencies and companies who can ensure consistent, timely and hassle-free payment for their freelancers will be one step ahead of the competition. Given that inconsistency of payments is cited by freelancers as the primary reason for their woes and subsequent decision to stop work, it is imperative that companies utilise modern technologies that allow freelance timesheets and payments to be executed on time and without any human error. The ditching of archaic payment methods will help employers to retain and attract the best talent. Not only will it benefit the company as a whole, but will attribute to a better sense of wellbeing for freelance workers who will not be worrying about when they will finally receive payment from their employer.
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