Freelancers' clients air their Brexit concerns

The Brexit concerns of SMEs -- often freelancers’ clients – have been laid bare in a new poll by an online skills marketplace.

Obtaining funds for the enterprise is their biggest anxiety about Brexit, given that more than six in 10 -- the biggest chunk responding -- are worried about it, found

Transferring money from the UK to the EU seems to be marginally less worrisome, but it is already an issue on the minds of the lion’s share of SMEs -- some 57%, shows the poll.

Seeming to explain why money transfers are bothering most of them, the pollster said the “vast majority” of the firms hired freelancers from European nations to work on their projects.

And while “exports” is not an issue the respondents will likely be looking for in whatever deal the UK government strikes (only 13% exported), the SMEs said they used their EU-based freelancers “on a regular basis.”

“It’s crucial that the next government make the impact of hiring European talent, both in terms of red tape and costs, absolutely clear so that businesses can plan”, said PeoplePerHour founder Xenios Thrasyvoulou.

He believes that although the UK will be working to “eliminate” problems such as a potential hike in the cost of hiring freelancers from overseas, that “nothing is for certain.”

On the flipside, Mr Thrasyvoulou added: “[One] advantage could be that employment law control will be returned to the UK which may make it more appealing to set up a business here.”

Elsewhere in the online poll, the SMEs said they were also perturbed by the price tag around travelling to do business on the continent, with 14% fearing a potential increase in airfares.


14th June 2017

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