Executive summary

Freelancer Confidence Index Q3 2020

Freelancers’ confidence in their businesses and the UK economy

*Table indicates outlook for the next 12 months

 

 

*Freelancers were asked to rate the importance of 15 different factors affecting the performance of their business in categories ranging from significantly positive and slightly positive, to no impact, slightly negative and significantly negative impact.

 

Executive summary

IPSE’s Confidence Index for Q3 2020 showed that although freelancers’ quarterly earnings have recovered by ten per cent since their all-time low last quarter, they remain at the second-lowest level on record: £17,305. This is because, as a result of the pandemic, freelancers’ spare capacity is the second-highest on record at 5 weeks: i.e. the average freelancer spent 5 weeks without work this quarter. Freelancers’ average quarterly earnings have only increased at all because this is a slight improvement on 5.5 weeks without work last quarter and their average day rate has risen slightly from £416 to £428. Overall, freelancers’ quarterly earnings are still flagging at what now seems worryingly like a new normal.

Freelancers’ confidence in their businesses, too, seems to be held down at a consistent low. In the first quarter of 2020, freelancers’ business confidence for the next three months dropped to the record low of -62.6, then rose back to -20.4, perhaps reflecting the announcement of support measures for some of the self-employed. This quarter, their confidence remains at the second lowest on record at -22.2. There is a similar story, too, when it comes to 12-month business confidence, which dipped to -57.3 in Q1 then rose to -30.5 in Q2 and remained there this quarter.

This flagging business confidence is concerning because, while freelancers’ confidence in the economy has always tracked political and economic changes closely, their confidence in their businesses has generally been bullish in the face of adversity. The pandemic appears to have changed this.

There is also no doubt that the pandemic is to blame for freelancers’ reduced confidence in the performance of their businesses. When asked about the factors having the most significant negative impact on their businesses, freelancers in the top two Standard Occupational Classifications (SOC1 and SOC2) said the coronavirus pandemic was the top factor. The only group that placed the pandemic second was SOC3, which narrowly picked the state of the economy as the top factor (and the poor state of the economy is largely also a result of the pandemic).

Freelancers’ confidence in the economy has characteristically shifted more drastically than business confidence this quarter. Freelancers’ 3-month confidence in the economy dropped to the all-time low of -86.6 in Q1 this year, then rose back to -37.5 last quarter. In Q3, as many parts of the country plunge into lockdown again, freelancers’ 3-month confidence in the economy has dropped once more, to -48.4.

There is a similar story for freelancers’ confidence in the economy over the next 12 months. This dropped to -77.8 in Q1 of this year, then rose to -53.4 in Q2 and fell again slightly to -56.2 in Q3. Overall, it dropped slightly less than 3-month confidence but also recovered significantly less, suggesting that although freelancers have been somewhat buoyed by the government’s support and stimulus packages, they fear the long-term economic damage caused by the pandemic.

Overall, we have a picture of a sector that has been hit hard by the first wave of the pandemic and is in a shaky and fragile position as we enter the second. While earnings and confidence both stabilised somewhat after the unseen lows of the first wave, both appear to have settled at a much lower level than before the pandemic. Given the tremors in freelancers’ economic confidence, however, there are signs the second wave could lead earnings and confidence to tumble from this plateau once more.

Economist perspective

In the third quarter of 2020, the second full quarter after the advent of coronavirus and the associated restrictions on people’s lives, we may be seeing the settling of several trends. Our metrics for earnings, capacity and 12-month confidence remain very similar to the second quarter’s results.

Prevailing headwinds for the economy and freelancers

This quarter, our three-month metric for economic confidence has again begun to slide, with each SOC group diminishing. This shouldn’t be surprising, as we enter a potentially bleak winter marked by increasing restrictions on businesses and social interaction and increasing unemployment. However, in the background sit two perennial issues: Brexit and IR35.

Hundreds of words have been devoted to these issues in our FCI since its inception in 2014. Similarly to this quarter last year, data has been collected with no sign of an imminent deal with the EU, whilst the threat of IR35 coming down the road has begun having a more tangible impact on freelancers’ businesses. The 3-month business confidence dip for all three groups – but particularly for SOC 1 – is likely to be influenced by both.

The paralysis caused by Brexit negotiations last year doesn’t nearly match the magnitude of the impact of coronavirus on freelancers in particular. No previous individual event in seven years of the FCI has caused quarterly income to drop so significantly and so quickly.

Past Brexit deadlines have seen freelancers benefit from more work as firms have put off long-term hiring decisions. Conditions are now very different. Demand is seeping away across sectors as the economic ripple effect caused by coronavirus spreads, yet many freelancers will not have noticed an immediate personal difference, as there has been a polarising effect on sectoral distribution.

If work is home-based and largely digital, it won’t be directly affected by restrictions. The balance sheet of some firms will, however, be diminished. This may mean some benefit from being able to offer their services on a time-limited basis. Others will be affected as the diversity of work available on such a basis will reduce.

Freelancers are working less, damaging their income

Freelancers tracked by the FCI have also seen a decrease in working hours by a slightly bigger margin, their spare capacity reaching an unprecedented high of 5.5 weeks (out of 13) in Q2 2020, impacting their earnings and potentially contributing to their general negativity.

Recently released data from the Office for National Statistics has allowed us to compare highly skilled freelancers to the wider self-employed. The ONS data is a key component of our analysis, providing a reputable source to benchmark our own research against. Detailed information on earnings can be harder to come by, with the FCI providing a key source for tracking this here in the UK.

However, coronavirus has spurred the ONS into broadening their empirical work on the self-employed, potentially to improve their data for work on coronavirus. This means we now have up to date information on what proportion of the self-employed are working. On average, they have seen a ten-hour weekly decrease in work, from 32 to 22 hours per week (a 33% decrease), while employees have remained above 26 hours for most of the period since March. Their hours driven down by the availability and diversity of contracts. The ONS data indicated that the self-employed worked as little as 17.5 hours per week on average in the third week of April, at the height of restrictions, and before most economic support had come into effect.

The coming months will see further social restrictions as a result of the coronavirus, the UK’s departure from the EU and also the changes to IR35 coming into effect. This will create the most uncertain operating environment for freelancers since 2008.

However, there is still time for both a trade deal and a further delay to IR35. The decreased working hours, earnings and confidence as we head into this period do not look likely to substantially recover – because, fundamentally, of the pandemic. The concerning trends we see here – earnings depressed by a reduction in working hours – may suggest the beginning of a worrying new normal for the sector during coronavirus.

 

Business confidence

Business confidence

 

Freelancers’ business confidence has been low since the outcome of the EU referendum was announced back in 2016. However, the COVID-19 health, income and economic crisis, caused business confidence indices to fall to unprecedented lows in Q1 2020.

The 3-month freelancer business confidence index reached its lowest level on record (-62.6) in the first quarter of the year, but it recovered substantially in Q2 2020 to -20.4, showing that freelancers expected their business circumstances to improve over the summer as they emerged from lockdown.

This quarter, the index fell slightly to -22.2, which is the second lowest level on record, illustrating the ongoing negative impact of the COVID crisis on their businesses. This could indicate that at the end of summer freelancers believed that there could potentially be a surge in cases in the next three months (October-December), leading to more restrictions limiting their business activity and impacting volumes of work.

Interestingly, while the fall in confidence in Q1 2020 occurred across the whole highly skilled freelancing sector (SOC1-3), this quarter it was driven mainly by SOC1 managerial freelancers who experienced a sharp drop in 3-month business confidence from -15.6 to -26.7. SOC2 professional freelancers, on the other hand, experienced a small increase in short-term business confidence from -27.5 in Q2 2020 to -24.9 in Q3 2020, while confidence remained almost unchanged for SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers, improving slightly from -17.0 to -16.5.

Freelancer confidence index for their businesses over the next three months

*Freelancers were asked to identify their confidence levels for the future, relative to current performance in one of five categories: more confident, slightly more confident, as confident, slightly less confident, and a lot less confident. The confidence index was created by scoring each of the five answers with 100, 50, 0, -50 and -100 respectively, and then taking the weighted average score for the sample. The weighted average is based on the relative proportion of freelancers in the labour market in 2019.

As with their 3-month confidence index, freelancers’ business confidence for the next year recovered from the unprecedented low recorded in Q1 2020 (-57.3) to –30.5 in Q2 2020. However, unlike with the 3-month confidence which dropped further in Q3 2020, freelancers’ 12-month confidence remained unchanged at -30.5.

While stable, the index remains in deeper negative territory than the 3-month one, showing that freelancers feel more negative about the prospects for their businesses over the next year in comparison with the next three months. This could potentially be linked to expectations for a heavy winter ahead because of a surge in cases resulting in the introduction of more social distancing measures in the next six months, in line with government predictions. It could also be related to other changes coming in the next 12 months, including Brexit and the introduction of IR35 in the private sector now expected in April 2021.

Looking at the differences between the three occupational groups, SOC1 managerial freelancers are again the only group reporting a decrease in 12-month business confidence from -28.0 to -32.6. Similar to the 3-month business confidence, both SOC2 professional and SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers report an increase in long-term confidence from -44.8 to -43.5 and from -18.7 to -16.8 respectively. Therefore, the accumulative effect of the differences between the three occupational groups have left the net confidence for the sector unchanged.

Freelancer confidence index for their businesses over the next 12 months

* Freelancers were asked to identify their confidence levels for future relative to current performance in one of five categories comprising: more confident, slightly more confident, as confident, slightly less confident, and a lot less confident. The confidence index is created by scoring each of five answers with 100, 50, 0, -50 and -100 respectively and then taking the weighted average score for the sample. The weighted average is based on the relative number of freelancers in the labour market in 2019.

 

Factors affecting performance

Factors affecting business performance

Top factors lowering business performance in Q3 2020

The top factor negatively influencing freelancers’ business performance has remained unchanged since last quarter and is the coronavirus pandemic (80.0%). The percentage of people selecting this as a factor also remained almost unchanged, dropping slightly from 81.1 per cent last quarter.

The coronavirus pandemic is a top negative factor selected by both SOC1 managerial (83.3%) and SOC2 professional (83.8%) freelancers, illustrating the strong impact it has on the sector. Interestingly, it is a second most important negative factor for SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers (74.1%), who selected the state of the UK economy (75.9%) as the top negative factor influencing their businesses.

Similarly, looking at the overall sample, the second key factor having a detrimental effect on freelancers’ businesses in Q3 2020 remains the state of the UK economy, selected by four-fifths of freelancers (79.3%), and cited among the top factors of all three freelancer groups.

In the first two quarters of the year, the COVID-19 health emergency had a huge contracting effect on the economy through lockdown and restrictions on businesses. Even after the introduction of multiple government schemes aimed at economic recovery over the third quarter of the year, including the Chancellor’s Eat Out to Help Out Scheme, the economy did not reach previous levels and witnessed only a minor 2.1 per cent improvement in August – less than half of what was predicted.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise that a majority of the freelancers surveyed selected the UK economy as one of the key factors negatively affecting their businesses.

As will be explored later in the report, freelancers seem to have been at the front line of cuts to labour costs in many sectors of the economy as their spare capacity – the amount of time they are not working per quarter – increased to a record high in Q2 2020 (5.5 weeks out of 13) and remained extremely high in Q3 2020 (5.0 weeks).

While the COVID-related health and income crisis has had an unprecedented negative effect on the sector in 2020, other negative influences on freelancers’ businesses have not gone away. The third most detrimental factor affecting the sector remains the same as last quarter – government’s tax policy relating to freelancing – and is selected by almost two-thirds of the freelancers surveyed (63.2%).

Despite the fact that the changes to IR35 in the private sector were delayed until April 2021 as part of the government measures introduced to support freelancers during the COVID pandemic, a growing proportion of freelancers are selecting this as a negative factor on their businesses, and this can only be expected to increase as the deadline approaches in April.

Looking at differences between the groups, SOC1 managerial (78.6%) and SOC2 professional (80.2%) freelancers were more likely to select tax policy as having a negative influence on their businesses than SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers. This is hardly surprising given that freelancers from these two groups are more likely to be registered as limited companies – the legal form that will be affected by the changes to IR35 in the private sector.

SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers, on the other hand, are the only group selecting competition from other freelancers (61.1%) as having a detrimental impact on their businesses. This might be associated with the fact that SOC3 is the largest highly skilled occupational group, and therefore freelancers in this group are more likely to face competition from others with similar background and skills.

*Freelancers were asked to rate the importance of 15 different factors affecting the performance of their business in categories ranging from significantly positive and slightly positive, to no impact, slightly negative and significantly negative. The list of factors was updated in Q2 2020.

 

 

Top factors enhancing business performance in Q3 2020

The top three factors that had a positive influence on freelancers’ businesses have remained unchanged since last quarter.

Brand value and reputation in the market (63.3%) does not only remain a top positive factor for the sector but its rating has also increased slightly from last quarter when it was selected by 59.1 per cent of freelancers. It is also selected as a top factor by all three freelancer occupational groups. This indicates that freelancers are using their reputation as a key competitive advantage during the crisis to contact clients they know and potentially try and find new work based on reputation building.

The second most important positive factor also remains unchanged since last quarter and is the innovation in terms of services offered to clients (50.9%). While this factor is listed in the top three for all occupational groups, its overall rating is down on last quarter when it was selected by 57.1 per cent of freelancers.

Finally, the third most important positive factor affecting freelancers’ businesses is the adoption of flexible working practices by organisations, as selected by half of the sample (49.8%). This factor only entered freelancers’ top three last quarter, showing the increasing importance of flexible working practices, such as remote working, for driving freelancers’ business performance in very tough external circumstances.

Looking at occupational differences, both SOC1 managerial (59.5%) and SOC2 professional (49.8%) freelancers stated they have benefited from the adoption of more flexible working practices in the last quarter. SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers on the other hand, selected targeting new markets (51.1%) as a key positive strategy.

Therefore, freelancers continue to drive their business performance in very difficult external economic and business conditions by taking their own initiative in brand building, service innovation and taking advantage of flexible working practices adopted by organisations, which for SOC3 freelancers also includes targeting new markets.

*Freelancers were asked to rate the importance of 15 different factors affecting the performance of their business in categories ranging from significantly positive and slightly positive, to no impact, slightly negative and significantly negative. The list of factors was updated in Q2 2020.

 

Confidence in the economy

Freelancer UK economy confidence index

Similar to freelancers’ 3-month business confidence index, the 3-month economic index has returned negative values since the outcome of the EU referendum was announced in 2016, but reached unprecedented record lows (-86.6) in Q1 2020 with the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.

While the index returned to somewhat standard levels in Q2 2020, this quarter it sharply dropped again from -37.5 to its second lowest level on record (-48.4), illustrating a belief among freelancers that the UK’s economic situation will deteriorate significantly over the next three months (October-December).

This prediction might be linked to an expectation among freelancers that COVID cases will continue to rise in autumn, leading to increasing social distancing measures. This can also translate to impact on business activity and consumer behaviour, similar to the first lockdown in Q1 and part of Q2 2020 which came with extreme economic costs for both freelancers and the businesses that hire them.

This drop in short-term economic confidence can be observed among all three freelancer occupational groups. However, similar to business confidence, SOC1 managerial freelancers, who were most positive last quarter, report the largest drop in confidence from -30.4 in Q2 2020 to -52.2 in Q3 2020. This is followed by SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers who saw a drop from -41.3 to -47.8, and finally SOC2 professional freelancers whose confidence decreased from -38.6 to -46.1.

Freelancer confidence index for the UK economy over the next three months

* Freelancers were asked to rate their confidence for the future in one of five categories: more confident, slightly more confident, as confident, slightly less confident, and a lot less confident. The confidence index was created by scoring each of the five answers with 100, 50, 0, -50 and -100 respectively, and then taking the weighted average score for the sample. The weighted average is based on the relative number of freelancers in the labour market in 2019.

 

While freelancers’ 3-month economic confidence index dropped sharply in Q3 2020, their 12-month confidence in the UK economy remained almost unchanged since last quarter, decreasing slightly from -53.4 in Q2 2020 to -56.2 in Q3 2020.

Even though this is a much smaller drop, it still shows freelancers’ expectations that the UK economy will continue to deteriorate over the course of the next year, and the consequences of the COVID-related health, income and economic crisis will be felt most strongly in the long term.

Similar to the other indicators, the drop in 12-month economic confidence was mainly driven by SOC1 managerial freelancers working in the most highly skilled occupational category. Their confidence for the next year dropped by over ten points from -52.9 in Q2 2020 to -64.4 in Q3 2020.

SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers also experienced a drop in confidence from -48.0 to -53.3, while SOC2 professional freelancers, who were the most negative last quarter, actually experienced an increase in confidence from -59.5 to -53.3.

Overall, freelancers remain negative about the prospects for both their businesses and the UK economy for the next year, predicting that the negative effects of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to have an influence on the sector and the economy, alongside other underlying concerns they have about the impact of the introduction of IR35 in the private sector.

Freelancer confidence index for the UK economy over the next 12 months

* Freelancers were asked to rate their confidence in the future of the UK economy in one of five categories: more confident, slightly more confident, as confident, slightly less confident, and a lot less confident. The confidence index was created by scoring each of the five answers with 100, 50, 0, -50 and -100 respectively, then taking the weighted average score for the sample. The weighted average is based on the relative number of freelancers in the labour market in 2019.

Capacity utilisation

Capacity utilisation

 

In Q3 2020, freelancers’ spare capacity (the amount of time they are not working per quarter) recovered slightly from Q2 2020 when it reached unprecedented record levels (5.5 weeks out of 13), but remained very high at 5.0 weeks.

This is the second highest level on record, showing that this quarter freelancers spent 39 per cent of their time without work. The high levels of spare capacity in the last two quarters illustrate that since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic freelancers have been experiencing a decreasing demand for work.

Unfortunately, this is unlikely to change in the next quarter with an increasing number of COVID cases being registered in autumn, followed by the introduction of additional social distancing measures, limiting the business activity of both freelancers and their clients.

Both SOC1 managerial and SOC2 professional freelancers experienced a decrease in the number of weeks they spent without work this quarter – from 6.3 to 5.3 and from 5.0 to 4.5 respectively. Levels of spare capacity for SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers, on the other hand, remained unchanged at 5.3 weeks.

Freelancers’ spare capacity: Number of weeks not working per quarter

* The weighted average is based on the relative number of freelancers in the labour market in 2019.

Rates & earnings

Freelancers’ day rates and quarterly earnings

While freelancers’ business volumes have declined over the course of the last year, their day rates remained almost unchanged with only a three per cent decrease since Q4 2019 showing the resilience of the sector. Furthermore, this quarter freelancers managed to secure a small three per cent increase in day rates from £416 to £428.

However, there has been a lot of variation across the sector with SOC1 managerial freelancers securing a substantial 11 per cent increase in day rates from £498 to £555 in the last quarter. SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers, on the other hand, reported a three per cent decrease in day rates from £263 to £254. Finally, the day rates of SOC2 professional freelancers remained almost unchanged, marking a slight increase from £517 to £519.

Freelancers’ minor increase in day rates, combined with a decrease in spare capacity has contributed to a ten per cent rise in their quarterly earnings from £15,709 to £17,305. While this marks the first increase in earnings since Q3 2019, earning levels are still the second lowest on record showing that the decrease in demand for work in the sector has translated into a significant drop in earnings.

Looking at the differences between the three occupational categories, SOC1 managerial freelancers secured a substantial 29 per cent increase in earnings, marking a rise from £17,380 to £22,381. SOC1 experiencing an exceptionally good quarter given the tough external circumstances can potentially explain their low confidence levels reported in the sections above – perhaps they are expecting their businesses to re-adjust to lower levels in the quarters to come.

SOC2 professional freelancers also reported an increase in earnings, albeit smaller at nine per cent from £19,768 to £21,576. SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers, on the other hand, experienced a nine per cent drop in earnings from £10,720 to £9,786.

Looking at the year ahead, freelancers expect their day rates to decrease by a net of 12.6 per cent, meaning that three in five (60%) predict a decrease in day rates and only a third (31%) predict an increase.

There is some variation in predicted change in day rates among the three freelancer groups. As mentioned above, after experiencing an exceptionally good quarter SOC1 managerial freelancers expect a 23.1 per cent net drop in day rates over the course of the next year. This is followed by SOC2 professional freelancers, who predict a 13.1 per cent drop and SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers who predict a 5.0 per cent drop.

Overall, freelancers experienced a slight improvement in both day rates and earnings this quarter, even though the latter didn’t manage to reach pre-COVID levels. Furthermore, the low confidence levels freelancers report in combination with their expectations for a decrease in day rates show that they are expecting a tough winter ahead, with COVID cases rising in the country and stricter social distancing measures being adopted in many parts of the UK.

Freelancers’ day rates and quarterly earnings

* The weighted average is based on the relative number of freelancers in the labour market in 2019.

Day rates
Freelancers' business costs

Freelancers' business costs

In Q3 2020, freelancers expect a substantial 7.5 per cent net increase in the input costs to their businesses over the next 12 months. This is substantially higher compared to their predictions in Q2 2020 (6.1%) and Q1 2020 (0.1%).

Almost two-thirds (63%) of freelancers expect their business costs to increase in the next 12 months compared to only 16 per cent who expect them to decrease and 22 per cent who expect them to remain the same.

Therefore, freelancers are sceptical about the prospect of economic recovery in the next 12 months and are predicting their input costs to increase at levels much higher than inflation.

These expectations about increases in input prices are uniform across the three highly skilled freelancer occupational groups. However, SOC1 managerial freelancers are expecting the highest increase in their business costs at 11.7 per cent, followed by SOC3 associate professional and technical freelancers (6.4%) and SOC2 professional freelancers (5.7%).

 * The weighted average is based on the relative number of freelancers in the labour market in 2019.

Summary

Summary

This quarter’s results illustrate the complex challenges facing freelancers as we proceed towards winter. The strains on the economy are beginning to have a lasting impact on the employment landscape.

Though there has been some recovery in quarterly earnings, it seems we may be seeing long-term negative trends beginning to settle in. Since the EU referendum, 12-month economic confidence has been stuck in negative territory – unhooked from freelancers’ personal confidence in their businesses. This doesn’t look likely to alter any time soon, with the coronavirus pandemic potentially locking economic sentiment in negative for the foreseeable future.

Though spare capacity has decreased slightly, pushing up average earnings for the quarter, this does not represent a full recovery. Compared with last year, freelancers have seen a doubling in their spare capacity (their time away from work). This may recover quickly if the economy adjusts sooner than expected to new restrictions (allowing hirers to adjust their approach accordingly).

Some sectors that have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic may recover more quickly than others. The creative industries, with a high proportion of limited company directors shut out from government coronavirus support – and hardest hit by restrictions – will continue to suffer as long as restrictions remain in place. Construction, on the other hand, might recover more quickly as the government turns to infrastructure and house building to stimulate economic growth.

However, with less work to choose from, freelancers may meet downward pressure on their day rates, just at the time they would consider raising them to cover for lost income.

Appendix

Appendix

Mission statement

IPSE’s Confidence Index is a quarterly report that tracks the business performance and economic outlook of freelancers across the UK. It is the only established index of its kind, using rigorously tested methodology and a representative sample of the freelance sector.

The index was created both to inform policy on freelancers and to ensure that their vital contribution is understood and recognised. The aim is for the Confidence Index to be the authoritative indicator used by policymakers at the heart of industry and government.

The sample

The quarterly Confidence Index report for Q3 2020 was compiled from 547 IPSE and PeoplePerHour members who replied to an online survey. The survey is conducted every quarter. In Q3 2020, the survey composition of respondents was: 30 per cent female and 69 per cent male, an average age of 45, have been freelancing for an average of 12.2 years and are highly educated – 30 per cent have a highest qualification at the postgraduate degree level while 56 per cent have a highest qualification at the undergraduate degree level.

Defining freelance status

Freelancers are a sub-section of the wider self-employed workforce. For the purposes of this report, the category ‘freelancer’ includes the groups with the highest skill levels, the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) Major Groups 1 - 3:

Managers, directors and senior officials

Individuals who have a significant amount of knowledge and experience of the production processes and service requirements associated with the efficient functioning of organisations and businesses (e.g. managers and proprietors in agriculture related services; transport and logistics; and health and care services). 

 

Professional occupations

Individuals who have a degree or equivalent qualification, with some occupations requiring postgraduate qualifications and/or a formal period of experience-related training (e.g. professionals in science, research, engineering and technology; health; teaching and education; business, media and public service). 

 

Associate professional and technical occupations

Individuals who have a high-level vocational qualification, often involving a substantial period of full-time training or further study. Some additional task-related training is usually provided through a formal period of induction (e.g. health and social care associate professionals; protective service occupations; culture, media and sports occupations).

 

Authors and acknowledgements

This report was written by Inna Yordanova, Senior Researcher at IPSE and Ryan Barnett, Economic Policy Advisor at IPSE. The data analysis was completed by Dr Samuel Vigne, Assistant Professor, Queen’s Management School, Queen’s University Belfast.

About IPSE

IPSE is the largest association of independent professionals in the EU, representing freelancers, contractors and consultants from every sector of the economy. It’s a not-for-profit organisation owned and run by its members. We believe that flexibility in the labour market is crucial to Britain’s economic success, and dedicate our work to improving the landscape for the freelance way of working through our active and influential voice in Government and industry. IPSE aims to be the principal and definitive source of knowledge about freelancing and self-employment in the UK. We work with leading academic institutions and research agencies to provide empirical evidence about evolving market trends. This research supports our work with Government and industry and delivers key market intelligence to help our members with business planning.

About PeoplePerHour

PeoplePerHour is the UK’s leading freelance marketplace. Founded in 2007 the site boasts over 2m users across 150+ countries, and has paid out in excess of £100m to freelancers since. Since its inception PeoplePerHour has become an invaluable resource for small businesses in the UK and outside, allowing them to hire expert talent as and when needed, 'on-demand' thereby staying lean and flexible while they grow. The company's mission is to empower people worldwide to live their work dream, building their business from the ground up and becoming financially and professionally independent.

 

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