In the last few years, the number of workers who are self-employed has risen considerably. Figures suggest that there are currently 4.54 million people in the UK who are self employed (an 8% rise from the previous year) and of the 780,000 who gained employment this year, 40% of those people are self-employed. It is estimated that one in seven is now working for themselves, so what is drawing people to self-employment?
One particular group who have made up a large portion of the self-employment figures is women with children. Self-employed and freelancing mothers have risen by 24% over the last two years, largely due to the flexibility of being your own boss. Surveys show that women with children prioritise flexible working hours more than their male counterparts, meaning that self-employment can be an attractive option. Many employers still do not grant the flexibility many parents need, however freelancing allows you to choose your own hours and work around school times.
Another group who have embraced self-employment is the over-50s, as alternative to retirement. Self-employment has risen among the over-50s by 36% in the last ten years, which is believed to be because self-employment allows for a slower working life, whilst still bringing in a wage. Self-employment also offers a certain level of control over your own working hours, wages and workload. More than half of self-employed people over 60 work part-time, which may not be possible as an fully employed worker. This allows older people to enjoy their free time, reduce their working schedule, and take time off at will without pressures from an employer.
However, there are difficulties when it comes to self-employment. Ensuring you comply with necessary regulations and complete the necessary paperwork can be challenging alongside running a business. Paying the correct tax, VAT and National Insurance contributions as well as maintaining bookkeeping records and HMRC records can be confusing without the right help, especially alongside the pressures of getting a business off the ground. However, a team of chartered accountants like MCC can help. We have a number of self-employed customers, and take a pro-active approach to ensure they all avoid any penalties and are able to run their business in the most tax efficient manner.
Click here to learn more about our self-employment services or contact us on 0161 707 1500 for more information. You can also send us a message with any enquiries.