When it comes to contracting, there’s no one shoe fits all answer to what a contractor is. A contractor can work in any industry with some of the most popular being:
- Building and trades
- Catering including food and drink
- IT support
- Security Services.
- Diving and aquatics
- Gardening and landscaping
- Marketing and communications.
But what exactly does a contractor do? Well, a contractor provides services to a specific client under specific terms for an agreed set fee. Usually, a client will source a UK contractor who is skilled in a specific area. Contractors charge fees which can be on a lump-sum basis, a daily rate or an hourly rate.
Reasons to Hire a Contractor
There are several reasons as to why clients use contractors instead of enrolling or utilising existing permanent, full-time staff. Some of these reasons include the fact that contractors:
- Are usually more flexible than permanent employees
- Have more flexible contracts in place
- Provide skills the current staff may not have
- Aren’t paid holiday pay, sick pay, or redundancy pay
- Are liable for their own national insurance.
Contracting can be mutually beneficial to a business and a contractor.
Flexibility of Contracting
There are many reasons why people choose to contract their services. Some of these include, but are not limited to:
- Extra income
- Control over workload
- Experience gain
- Exposure to big companies
- Tax advantages.
Like with any job, full-time or otherwise, contracting can be very challenging. However, it can also be very rewarding and offers a level of financial and professional freedom for many.
Are You Considering Contracting?
Before you make the move into contracting, it’s important to understand that operating as a contractor is very different from being employed. When you become a contractor, you become your own boss. While this appeals to lots of people, it also means that you are responsible for all aspects of your work including finances and admin.
While there are many benefits to contracting, there are also some risks involved. If you’re thinking of becoming a contractor, consider the following:
- You will regularly be required to fill in forms due to the many laws surrounding business and tax.
- You have less protection as a contractor as you are no longer an employee, so you lose employee rights.
- While you may be successful in securing good contracts, you have no guaranteed income as a contractor.
- There is always a chance that a contract may end, and you spend time out of work.
- You will no longer be entitled to holiday or sick days as you would receive as a permanent employee.
To make it as a successful contractor, it’s important that you can adapt and work well with people from a range of backgrounds. As a contractor, there is no doubt that you’ll be working with many different people and organisations. It’s not unlikely for you to come up against challenging situations from time to time, but as long as you are firm and professional, this shouldn’t affect your ability to complete a job.
Before you take the plunge into contracting, it may be worthwhile brushing up on what exactly will be expected of you as getting your held around the legalities can be difficult at first, especially if it’s all new to you.