Whilst some contractors may be fairly positive about Brexit, many others may be feeling incredibly confused and uncertain about what the future holds. At the time of writing, MPs have just taken “unprecedented” control over the Brexit process from the Government, with our attention being drawn to seismic unforeseen changes seemingly every day. However, it seems that even the most pro-Remain contractors may have more reasons to be optimistic than they expect with regards to their own post-Brexit career opportunities.
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Growing demand for contractors
Over recent times, many British contractors have benefited from higher pay rates. Much of this is down to the reduced competition levels from workers exiting the UK. It also seems that business’ attitudes towards contractors and freelancers have been improving as they seek to create flexible workforces that can easily be scaled up and down as their needs change. Freelancers and contractors are able to offer the kind of flexibility that permanent employees cannot, which means companies with ever-shifting requirements are continuing to look to the self-employed community.
Improved pay rates
A number of high-skill industries are attempting to fill a skills gap. This has led to large numbers of skilled workers commanding higher pay rates. Freelancers working in recruitment have been seeing considerable benefits, with companies taking bigger steps to identify and recruit skilled and experienced personnel.
How are businesses reacting to Brexit?
The attitudes of small business owners are becoming more robust and defiant than you might think. Some businesses are growing their cash reserves to ensure greater protection is available should a drop in trade occur. A number of small-to-medium businesses have been establishing bases within the EU in order to maintain a European presence and serve their continental clients. It has become common for SMEs to increase prices in advance of the pound potentially falling in value, with some companies postponing purchases until more information and clarity available on import tariffs.
Greater opportunities for flexible staff
The uncertainty related to Brexit has made many companies eager to recruit temporary staff rather than permanent personnel. This is also good news for contractors wishing to retain their flexible self-employed status. Some companies feel they have no choice but to continue operating as they normally would, with some business owners finding it tougher to agree long-term B2B contracts due to the uncertainty. A considerable number of entrepreneurs have abandoned plans to ‘scale back’, regarding doing so as akin to ‘giving up’. Hopes that greater inward investment from outside of the UK are still high, regardless of the confusion linked to Brexit.
Fair pay for contractors
Contractors are advised to avoid selling themselves short and charge fair rates for their services, especially at a time when their skills are in greater demand. To achieve a respectable rate, they can identify the average day rate for their roles, ensure strong references are available and to suggest pay review dates if they are unable to secure the rate they desire at present.
We explore the impact on contractors in more detail in our comprehensive Brexit guide. Click here to find out more.
Along with over 13 years experience in the contractor payroll industry, and after spending most of his working life as a financial advisor in the regulated financial services industry, Mike has garnered an extensive network of contacts in the recruitment industry, many of whom trust both him and the One Click Group to handle their accounting. Mike has also been a member of various industry bodies throughout the years, such as the British Institute of Recruiters, in order to champion best practices across the contractor payroll industry.