4 perks Contractors wish for, that employees have
12 months ago
The upsides of being a contractor, (the autonomy, individuality, and directorial duties), often outweigh the downsides of contracting, (volatile income and minimal employment package), but which benefits do contractors wish for that employees have?
Recent changes such as the cut to tax-dividend allowance which is set to be whittled down to £2000 from £5000, and the IR35 public-sector reform raises the stakes for contractors – but it’s also the social aspects that can influence the decision on whether to take the leap into contracting, or stick with fixed employment.
The Matthew Taylor report touches on the lack of benefits that are on offer for contractors, but the government’s recent plan to introduce an auto-enrolment pensions scheme for the self-employed is a clear stride forward.
Here’s our round-up on perks contractors wish for:
1. Food Galore
It’s an element that’s often overlooked as it becomes instilled in everyday routine – the obligatory coffee round. Office Depot have worked out that ‘if there are 12 staff members in your office, and each of those people drink between two and four cups of coffee a day, you can safely assume that you need to brew between 168 and 336 cups per week.’
As a work-from-home-contractor, the obligatory coffee round is an element you most probably won’t be accustomed to. The stroll to the workplace kitchen is like the light and the end of the tunnel, there’s always unexpected treats waiting for you. However, a work-from-home contractor can always have full autonomy over their own home kitchen which means unlimited everything, including tea and coffee.
Let’s not forget the work canteen, if you’re lucky enough to be employed by a company with a canteen, you’ll be all too familiar with the happiness the weekly specials bring you. Now that’s an element that raises the bar against home lunches.
2. Workplace Celebrations
There’s the annual Christmas party, the bi-monthly, post work get-together, and the long string of birthdays that are always happening. If you’re a veteran contractor, you may be invited to workplace dinners, but it’s an aspect that the social butterflies of the contracting world could feel empty without.
On the other hand, many may feel grateful to never feel obliged to attend such events, packed with awkward anti-social moments and office politics – ever again.
3. Financial Benefits
In 2016, the growing army of self-employed professionals delivered £255 billion to the UK economy which means that it’s all too important to provide protections for them, ensuring that the appeal remains.
IPSE, the Self-Employed & Freelancer Association, urge in their 2017 general election manifesto, A Contract with the Self-Employed, that the government should provide fair parental benefits to self-employed workers and an auto-enrolment pensions scheme.
Matthew Taylor extends his concern on employment protections that are not currently on offer for the self-employed, such as the national minimum wage, sick pay and holiday pay.
4. Social Setting
It’s clear that with fixed employment comes long term exposure to human interaction, and in some cases – colleagues for life. The social aspects of contracting can appear quite bleak, but it’s possible to flip this over by using coworking spaces. Read our blog on Freelancer Blues, and how using coworking spaces is the answer.
There are 4.8 million self-employed professionals in the UK which means that one in seven of the workforce are flexible workers, which shows that it’s becoming an increasingly attractive option.
Contractors typically earn a higher rate of pay which usually counterbalances employee perks, and recent figures show that Freelancers are actually happier than regular employees.
If you are thinking of taking the leap into contracting, it’s worth noting that the treatment of flexible workers is ever changing, taking strides forward every year.
At Gorilla Accounting, we offer an all-inclusive accountancy package for Contractors and Freelancers for just £85 plus vat per month. If you have any questions, get in touch with a member of our New Business Team by calling 0330 024 0406 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.