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Self employed workforce could be getting overlooked

In recent months the government has acknowledged the importance of the flexible workforce in the economic recovery. Some have been slow to recognise the contribution made by those who work for themselves, whereas others have been keen to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit which they believe could be responsible for supporting the UK in its time […]

By Laura Nixon on 28 Aug 2015
Read time: 3 minutes

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In recent months the government has acknowledged the importance of the flexible workforce in the economic recovery. Some have been slow to recognise the contribution made by those who work for themselves, whereas others have been keen to embrace the entrepreneurial spirit which they believe could be responsible for supporting the UK in its time of need.

Some of the bodies who represent freelancers, contractors and other self employed individuals have estimated that around 20 per cent of the UK’s workforce is made up of flexible workers. The ability to hire short-term staff to fulfil the specific needs of businesses which are looking for skilled experts to help them achieve their goals has been one of the most important factors in the success of both large and small businesses.

However, a report compiled by the National Association of Pension Funds has revealed that a significant number of businesses are failing to report effectively on the make-up of their workforces, meaning that they are unable to deploy them in the most effective manner. When large businesses fail to understand how their staff are comprised, it can not only affect the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations, but also the motivation and engagement of those who work here.

The report showed that only 11 per cent of FTSE 100 businesses even measure the number of temporary workers that they take on and there are even some HR departments who are failing to keep records concerning the number of flexible workers that are engaged with their business. When teams outsource some of their functions to industry specialist freelancers or contractors, there is often no system in place to record the fact that these individuals have been engaged, leaving a gap in the larger corporation’s understanding of how their business is operating.

This means that there is no guarantee that larger firms in this position are upholding best practice when it comes to dealing with their suppliers, even those who have published policies designed to ensure that nobody is being exploited or treated poorly. They are also unable to ensure that any small businesses to whom work is outsourced have adequate processes in place to ensure their workers’ welfare. This so-called ‘invisible workforce’ needs help and support to ensure that their voices are heard, especially in an economy which relies so much on their contribution to succeed and, as such, the Freelancer and Contractor Services Association are urging all businesses to pay close attention to the make-up of their businesses, including those who may not be employed directly.

Anyone who works for themselves  will know that there are plenty of things to consider in order to make a success of their business, and having a specialist freelancer accountant to help you is the best way to ensure that you are on top of them all. To learn more about our services and how we could help you with your finances, plans for the future and anything else, call us today on 01253 362062 or email us at contractoradvice@nixonwilliams.com.

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We will never share your data with anyone without your permission. Read our Privacy policy to see how we use your data.