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Contracting has become a life choice, says new survey

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Latest research has shown that becoming a contractor has become a life choice, rather than redundancy being the reason for turning to freelancing.

The recent report, which has been carried out by FPS Group, surveyed 1,600 contractors across the UK and found that 68 per cent were motivated to work as a freelancer because of the flexibility and choice, rather than through economic necessity; and 60 per cent of respondents intend to carry on contracting in the long run.

The survey also revealed that contractors are extremely financially savvy for being in-between contracts, as 62 per cent save regularly or have savings in place to support long periods without work and 35 per cent of contractors say they could function as normal for six months without a job.

Matt Huddleston, Chief Financial Officer, FPS Group said, “Using contractors is very good for the UK economy as it allows companies to flex, bringing is specific skills as and when they need to. Our survey shows that contractors actively chose to work in this way because of the flexibility it brings them, which is probably why they also take managing their finances and planning for the future very seriously too.”

With the subject of the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), which was bought about in October 2011, over half of respondents did not feel informed ahead of its introduction.  Just one in ten contractors feel the legislation has benefitted them, while over half feel it has not had a positive impact at all.

However, 11 per cent are now looking at the training available to them through AWR and 12 per cent are planning to stay in their current role longer so they can benefit from AWR.

Huddleston continues, “AWR is, in theory, very positive for contractors, but it seems fewer of them than the Government might have hoped know what the benefits are or the rights they now have, which perhaps explains why there have been few reported claims against employers to date.”

Please visit our Contractor News page for all other news. To discuss this story further visit our SJD Accountancy Blog.

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