Support for people who are self-employed or contracting
More and more people are choosing self-employment and flexible working. In March of this year, the Office for National Statistics released its UK Labour Market report. The number of self-employed people grew by 148,000 when compared to the same period in 2016 and now stands at 4.8 million. This represents 15.1% of all people in work in the United Kingdom1. It’s a trend that has been increasing for some time.
At Saffron, we have been considering the characteristics of the self-employed and thinking about how we can provide them with something extra. If you are a contractor or self-employed then we hope that you’ll find this article useful. We have been looking at some of the latest analysis in the sector, the products we provide and some of the industry bodies available to get more support.
Self-Employment and Contractor Trends
Self-employed people now contribute £119 billion to the national economy2. According to the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), this growth is partly down to the emergence of technology platforms which make the process of identifying contractor work easier than ever before. They expect this trend to continue.
Not only is the contract sector growing, but the majority are better off for it. A study by the McKinsey Global Institute3 found that 97% of contractors, who work this way by choice, are much happier than their permanently employed counterparts. They report higher levels of satisfaction in numerous aspects of work including income levels, the ability to express creativity, and opportunities for development and personal growth.
However, political uncertainty means that there is concern about the economic outlook. IPSE’s latest Freelancer Confidence Index4 found their confidence in the UK economy for the next 12 months has declined from an index score of -28.3 in Q3 to -28.9 in the Q4 of 2016. Indeed, financial planning is one of the biggest challenges for those opting to work on their own. Variable income means that budgeting for the long-term can be difficult, and if you want to move house, the lack of willing lenders can be a problem. But if you can find the right people to work with and budget effectively, many contractors and self-employed people can overcome these barriers.
How Saffron Building Society can help
We have a range of specially designed mortgages for individuals working on short-term contracts and the self-employed. Saffron will take the time to look at your unique circumstances and income structure so that we can identify the most appropriate way to help you. Our mortgage for the self-employed is available for applicants with only one year’s accounts.
This link will take you to the latest information on our contractor mortgages and if you are self-employed, you can find more information here on our self-employed mortgages.
As a mutual, Saffron Building Society is owned by you, the members, we put all our surplus money back into the Society and we exist solely for your benefit. What makes us different is that we always try to provide the most flexible, honest and straightforward service available.
If you are looking for help in other ways, the following information might be of assistance.
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed is one of the leading providers of support to freelancers, contractors and consultants from every sector of the economy. If you want more help and advice their website can be found at www.ipse.co.uk.
Or, if you want some help with your budgeting why not try the following apps: You Need a Budget or Goodbudget. These handy tools enable you to divide your income into separate pots, and allocate it for outgoings such as your mortgage or grocery shopping. Every pound is accounted for. If you over or under spend in any one area you can move money to another location. It’s a simple way to add some structure to your income and expenditure.
Alternatively, if you’d like to consider taking a more in-depth review of your finances , please visit your local branch and talk to your Branch Manager who will be pleased to arrange an appointment with an Independent Financial Adviser, or you can contact us on 0800 072 1100.
- Office of National Statistics, March 2017
- Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), February 2017
- McKinsey, October 2016
- IPSE Confidence Index, Q4 2016