Brexit has changed the future landscape for business in the UK, and for the UK doing business with the EU. For contractors and freelancers in the UK, the impact of Brexit will depend on Prime Minister Theresa May’s plan for business dealings between the EU and the UK.
Because some of the business laws surrounding UK businesses are regulated by the EU, changes in these laws to move power solely to the UK will impact contractors and freelancers who have limited companies or operate with companies or individuals in the EU. The future of business for the UK as a whole depends on careful amendments to legislation to ensure the smooth flowing of business.
What’s Positive for Freelancers in the UK?
Businesses rely on temporary workers and contractors to fill skill gaps and to work on projects that demand high skill levels to complete work, sometimes where there isn’t sufficient supply in the permanent workforce. Here is where contractors and freelancers could benefit from Britain exiting the EU.
As Britain being separate from the EU will make it more difficult for skilled workers from EU countries to work in the UK, this will be an opportunity for more professionals in the UK to have access to contract and freelance work.
The number of contractors in the UK is increasing as professionals leave permanent employment to enjoy a more flexible career, and businesses nationwide will still have skill gaps which they will need to fill, particularly in IT and finance – however this remains to be seen as it is still unknown whether London as Europe’s financial centre will change after Brexit.
What’s Negative for Freelancers in the UK?
Britain’s exit from the EU will have a mirror effect as the potential impact discussed above. That is, contractors and freelancers from the UK who wish to relocate to the EU will find it more difficult to do so. As the current arrangement is, UK citizens can freely work and live anywhere in the EU. In the future, there may be stricter immigration and working laws for UK contractors to take on contract work in the EU.
In this sense, being more confined to work opportunities in the UK could cause a loss for some individuals who rely on income from working in the EU. Those who find it too difficult to get contract work in the EU could see their quality of life decrease.
For businesses, especially start-ups, that seek contractors and workers for which there is a shortage of supply, it will be more difficult to find qualified workers as they could have otherwise looked outside the UK’s borders for skilled contractors. A shortage occupation means that there aren’t enough individuals in the UK with the right skills and qualifications to fill a job role.
What should be known when hiring a contractor or freelancer?
Regardless of whether you hire a contractor who is from the UK or from the EU, there are important things you should know and look for when carrying out interviews and choosing a candidate.
Rate of pay: Especially when a contractor knows they have skills that are high in demand, they will ask for a higher rate in exchange for their services. Many contractors discover what they could earn using contractor calculator, so they are prepared to only accept offers that meet their requirements. This means you should be prepared to pay for what the skills are worth.
Knowledge: Make sure you do your research on the contractors or freelancers you are looking to hire. Does their knowledge and experience on their CV match what you are looking for? Did you ask questions to get a real-life example of how they would address the work you are offering in the contract? Doing your due diligence will make sure you hire the right person for the contract.
References: Just like when you hire a permanent employee, you should ask for references when you hire a contractor or freelancer. They should be able to provide you with references from their portfolio of work which will give you an idea of whether they are they are who they say they are.
There will be both positive and negative impacts on contractors and freelancers when Britain exits the EU, however the full extent of the impact will only be made clear when the exit actually occurs.
In your opinion, how will Brexit affect contractors, freelancers and business in general in the UK?
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