‘Flex appeal: Why freelancers, contractors and agency workers choose to work this way’, a new report published by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) today.
A survey of 4,234 adults (conducted by YouGov) finds that:
• one in four (24 percent) has been a temporary agency worker,
• one in ten (10 percent) has worked as a contractor,
• one in ten (11 percent) has worked as a freelancer.
Addressing career and earning potential the report says:
• 40 percent of people who currently earn £30,000 or more have worked as an agency worker, contractor or freelancer,
• 22 percent of people who currently earn more than £50,000 have been agency workers,
• 36 percent of people who currently have hiring responsibilities at work have been an agency worker themselves.
REC chief executive Kevin Green says:
“Working as a contractor, freelancer or agency worker is a choice for many people, and flexibility is a key reason they opt for this kind of work. Flexible working especially appeals to young people, parents and people scaling back as they approach retirement.
“Sometimes temporary work is looked down on as a second rate or a dead-end career choice. But if you talk to people who work this way, they value being able to fit work around their family commitments, can earn more, or are using temporary assignments to pick up specific skills and experience they couldn’t get elsewhere.
“We need to do more to support people who want a better work life balance, not penalise them. That’s why we want employers to do more to treat their temporary staff like the rest of their workforce, with better communication from managers and access to training.
“The government must simplify the tax system to ensure temporary workers are not caught out by complex rules. They should also require banks to be more accommodating of applications for mortgages from these customers so people aren’t disadvantaged by working flexibly.”