Freelancers 'take six fewer holiday days than staff'

The work-life balance that freelancers say they strike well seems to be behind a comparative shortage of holiday time for such self-employed workers not causing woe, a study suggests.

In fact, 54% of freelancers are “satisfied” with the amount of time they take off annually, despite 68% of them taking less holiday than employees get, found Qdos.

In particular, the largest proportion of the polled freelancers (32%) get at least 22 days away from work a year, compared with the 28 days of annual (paid) leave that staff are entitled to.

“That the majority of freelancers and contractors are happy with the amount of holiday they take each year [even though they take fewer holiday days than employees] reflects that independent workers are by and large enjoying a healthy work-life balance,” said Qdos’ Seb Maley.

“That said, many freelancers understandably find taking time off difficult. From feeling the need to work when projects are available, to problems switching off, having the financial security and confidence to enjoy a well-earned rest is one of the most difficult aspects of self-employment.”

In line with his comments, a sample from the study of freelancers who said they were “unsatisfied” with how much holiday time they get shows financial issues to be the deciding factor for 60% of them.

Additionally, a fifth were simply “too busy” with existing commitments; almost as many were worried that going on a break would “lose a contract” and a handful said they were at too early a point in their freelance career to take time away from building it.

Editor’s Note: Related --

Freelancers’ Questions: Can I take holiday or sick leave?

How freelancers can cope with email on holiday

Freelancers’ Questions: Can I use holiday time to quit early for freelancing?


19th September 2017

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