Empowering the Freelance Economy

Freelancers must prep for a Labour win

Riz Malik, a mortgage specialist is among the self-employed who are preparing for a Labour win at the polls this summer
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The Labour Party’s proposed ban on zero-hour contracts has sent ripples through the recruitment industry and freelance sector. With the potential for significant changes to hiring practices, both companies and independent workers are grappling with the implications now that PM Rishi Sunak has called for a general election on 4 July. Many, especially the self-employed, are expecting a Labour win.

We highlight how freelancers can prepare themselves in advance to protect their revenue streams during a potential transition to Labour Party worker policies.


Self-employed betting on a Labour win

“Rishi’s choice of election date allows him to bow out gracefully and still enjoy the rest of the summer in California,” Riz Malik, Director at R3 Mortgages tells the NewsPage Agency. “With many Tory MPs choosing not to stand for re-election, it’s clear they see the writing on the wall,” he says, adding, “It would take a catastrophe for Keir Starmer not to announce a change of address this summer.”

Scott Gallacher, Director at Rowley Turton is also expecting a Labour win at the polls this summer:

Given how far they are behind in the polls, David Blaine couldn’t pull this rabbit out of the hat, let alone Rishi. How bad must the next six months be looking if he’s calling an election with these poll numbers?

It all looks a little desperate, and I can only imagine that many Conservative MPs will be spending this weekend updating their CVs as they’ll be looking for new jobs in the summer.

Preparing for change: tips for freelancers and contractors

Recent reports and news articles have explored the potential consequences of the ban on the freelance economy and fixed-term contract sector. A Freelance Informer article from April 2024, titled “What will happen if the UK bans zero-hour contracts?”, suggests that the ban could both benefit and harm freelancers. While offering greater security and predictability, it might also limit flexibility for those who value the casual work arrangements that zero-hour contracts provide.

Considering the impending ban, freelancers and contractors can take proactive steps to prepare for the changing landscape:

  • Diversify Your Client Base NOW: Relying on one or two clients who primarily offer zero-hour contracts could become risky. Actively seek out clients who offer project-based or retainer contracts to ensure a steady income stream.
  • Upskill and Specialise: With increased competition for traditional contracts, developing niche skills and expertise could make you a more attractive candidate for long-term engagements.
  • Network Strategically: Building relationships with other freelancers and agencies can open up new opportunities and provide a safety net if traditional job platforms become less viable.
  • Review and Renegotiate Existing Contracts: If you have ongoing zero-hour contracts, consider discussing alternative arrangements with your clients well before the ban takes effect.

Impact on freelancer rates and job platforms

The ban on zero-hour contracts could lead to upward pressure on freelancer rates. With companies needing to offer more secure contracts, they may need to budget for higher rates to attract top talent. However, this could also make it more challenging for freelancers to compete with established agencies that can offer a wider range of services.

Freelancer job platforms may need to adapt their models to accommodate the shift away from zero-hour contracts. This could involve promoting longer-term projects or offering tools to help freelancers and clients negotiate fair contract terms.

Prepare for a shift so your revenue stream is not impacted

The potential ban on zero-hour contracts represents a significant shift in the UK’s employment landscape. While it could bring greater security to some workers, it also raises questions about the future of freelance work and recruitment practices. By staying informed and adapting to the changing environment, both companies and freelancers can navigate the transition successfully.

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