Articles - 7th August 2019

Half of the UK’s freelancers have not been paid for work & gig workers receive holiday pay

Words by Emily & Jack

Half of UK freelancers have not been paid for work 

A study by Yuno Juno found more than half (55 per cent) of freelancers have done work they have not been paid for, but only a third have stopped working for a client who consistently pays late. It found the average late invoice was overdue by two-and-a-half weeks before being paid. 

Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of freelancers surveyed admitted to continuing to work for businesses despite outstanding invoices being drastically overdue, with one in 10 freelancers stating they do nothing when a client pays late.

The research comes after the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) revealed that self-employed workers lose an annual average of 20 days chasing unpaid invoices.


HMRC seeking further £30m from contractors

HMRC is seeking to generate an extra £29.7m from IR35 investigations into contractor’s employment statuses, according to new data.

The figure is an estimation of the maximum amount HMRC can generate before investigations into contractors and ‘disguised employment’ have concluded.

The release of this data comes as HMRC is ramping up IR35 investigations into various industries that employ a high number of contractors.

Other industries will also face heavy scrutiny, such as IT, engineering, and construction, as well as many interim management roles which all employ a high number of freelancers.


Work is no more insecure than it was twenty years ago, claims report

Panic over the rise of the gig economy, zero hour contracts and insecure work is misplaced and based on a misunderstanding, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

According to Tim Wallace at the Telegraph, the world of work has, if anything, become more stable, despite the rising profile of flexible online jobs and the use of gig workers in industries such as minicab driving and takeaway delivery.

CIPD’s surveys indicate that gig workers typically choose this type of employment to boost their income, rather than being forced into it for lack of regular employment. Just 14pc said they wanted a regular job but could not get one and so had to settle for this type of job.

Instead of focusing largely on atypical work, the CIPD suggests policymakers look more broadly at boosting the quality of all jobs, with higher pay and productivity particularly pressing concerns. 


I want to buy a home – can I get a mortgage now I’m freelance?

Your freelance career isn’t necessarily jeopardising your chances of getting a mortgage, but with less than three years’ of tax calculations it is limiting the number of mortgage deals you have access to although with a cash deposit of 10%, there will be more options than with the minimum 5% deposit you need to secure a mortgage. 

Before making the rather drastic decision to go back to being an employee, it might be an idea to get in touch with a specialist mortgage broker (Google “self-employed mortgages” to find one) who will know which lenders can accommodate your personal circumstances. It may be that you can go ahead with buying your first home before the end of next year.


YouTubers’ union takes on Silicon Valley

Europe’s most powerful trade union has thrown its weight behind an alliance of vloggers in a landmark industrial dispute with Silicon Valley.

At the heart of the wrangle is one of the most fundamental questions of the 21st-century economy: are people who make a living from using tech platforms such as YouTube or Uber really independent operators or are they something more like employees?

The YouTubers Union, a movement of more than 20,000 video producers, argues that the site’s apparently arbitrary rule changes — singling out some vloggers for special treatment while shutting off the flow of advertising money to others — are tantamount to unfair working conditions.

In 2017, however, YouTube began using algorithms and human censors to sift through its billions of clips and categorise them. Some vloggers discovered that their channels had been abruptly “demonetised” when their advertising revenues were withdrawn. Others had their accounts shut and were given only peremptory explanations.

YouTube insists that its vloggers are independent “partners”. Some experts in employment law agree. There is no real competition to turn to for Youtubers. There is every sign that this is a classic employer-employee relationship.


Gig workers entitled to holiday pay after court ruling

It has been ruled by senior judges that gig economy workers are now entitled to receive a minimum amount of annual holiday pay. In order to determine a holiday pay wage, businesses must calculate how much a worker gets paid over 12 weeks and then work out a weekly average sum.


The number of gig workers is going to skyrocket by 2020: Deloitte

In the month of July, the U.S. economy added 164,000 jobs — but how does the alternative workforce, better known as the gig economy, size up?

According to a new report from Deloitte, self employment in the U.S. is expected to triple to 42 million people by 2020 with millennials as the leaders.

Only 6% of organizations believe they are excellent at moving people from role to role, according to the 2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends report. This contradicts employees’ desire for mobility that they may receive within a self-employment position in the gig economy.



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