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A 2016 report by Contracting Scout found that over fifty per cent of Contractors hadn’t taken a day off for illness. This either means that their bodies are made of steel or that they’re an incredibly, reliable chunk of the British workforce.

To call in sick or to not?

The working life of a contractor isn’t as straightforward as the working life of a fixed term employee. Contractors aren’t tied down to an employer which means that they’re not eligible to the benefits that an employer would provide to a permanent employee. This includes one significant benefit- sick pay.

The report found that “the majority (62 per cent) cited worry about where the next contract would come from as the reason” for not taking off sick days. Insecurity and uncertainty comes hand in hand with contracting, but the rewards often counterbalance this.

As a contractor, you can usually charge a higher daily/weekly rate which means that if you were to fall sick, you should be covered. If you have the right accountant on hand, they should be able to offer advice on how to financially plan for sick days, making them hassle-free. Contractors typically put aside three months’ worth of wages for sick days, holiday days and for gaps in employment.

The study also found that “most contractors are happy with their working life, with 75 per cent saying they’d recommend being a contractor to others.” This shows that it’s not entirely about risk taking as one of the benefits of contracting is being able to build up an array of experience. This can conveniently be achieved as you are able to balance your work and home life as you have the ability to pick and choose when to take a contract, from who and where.

What next?

If you’re considering switching to contracting from fixed term employment and you’re not entirely sure on what aspects of your working life will change, give Gorilla a call. You can reach one of our accountants on 0330 024 0506, alternatively you can send us an email