In a drive to gain wider recognition for the contribution that freelancers, consultants and contractors make to the UK economy, PCG (the association representing the UK’s freelancers and contractors) has declared 23rd November as National Freelancers Day and we at Freelancers In The UK are delighted to support this initiative.
Freelance contractors and consultants provide flexible solutions and are working hard with their clients to assist economic recovery.
National Freelancers Day will:
- Highlight this flexible, agile and expert community to UK businesses, showing how to engage and work with freelancers effectively
- Celebrate Freelancing as a valid career choice, highlighting the community and support network
- Emphasise that to unlock the full potential of freelancing, Government must recognise that freelancers are in business and entitled to clear and fair taxation laws
National Freelancers Day will see a number of events taking place for freelancers across all sectors. PCG envisages that these events will bring together and underpin the importance of, the UK’s freelance workforce.
In tandem, PCG will also be calling on its members and the broader community to talk about what it means to be a freelancer and to spread the word through as many channels as possible. National Freelancing Day will educate the country about freelancing and embrace all interested in the freelance way of working – providing advice on hiring freelancers, becoming freelance and on how to make a success of freelancing. Below the core messages of National Freelancers day are highlighted.
What is Freelancing?
Ways of working in the UK and throughout the world are becoming more sophisticated and this trend shows no sign of abating. Today there are 1.4 million freelancers working in the UK across all sectors of the economy. The terms ‘freelancer’, ‘contractor’, ‘interim’ and ‘consultant’ are often used. Common freelancers functions include IT consultants, engineers, oil & gas contractors, project managers, business and management consultants, interim managers, journalists, medical professionals, copywriters, designers and media/marketing professionals; basically, anyone who is working independently in a knowledge–based role.
Why do we need freelancing?
Freelancing developed because businesses sometimes need more flexible resources than can be acquired under terms of employment. There is a whole range of reasons for these needs: the skills needed might be specialised and not part of the client’s normal requirements; there may be a project of limited or even uncertain duration; and so on.
It is often the case that the costs, risks and responsibilities associated with employment can be disproportionate to the task at hand and/or the skills required do not exist in house. Freelance contractors are prepared to provide their expertise as a service, taking on board the associated business risks. This is beneficial for many reasons:
The clients gains because they get the flexibility they need
Contractors gains because they have the advantages of being in business, such as career advancement and a more flexible lifestyle
Employees gains because they can be given their rights without damaging employers’ competitiveness
Government gains because it can award employees such rights without adverse economic effect
The UK gains because these developments support a more flexible economy than would otherwise exist
What are the key challenges affecting freelancers?
The one in seven UK workers who have chosen to work for themselves, doing whatever it is they do well, for a succession of clients, without wanting or needing to “grow a business” of their own, have hitherto been largely invisible to policy makers. It is this lack of understanding of our sector that has led to measures such as IR35 and S660A. A major part of National Freelancers Day is to ensure that the voices of those who provide their services on a commercial basis are heard in Westminster, Whitehall, Brussels and beyond.
For more information, see www.nationalfreelancersday.org.uk
Download the Spirit of Freelancing publication below.