Self-employment a career choice for over 3 in 4 freelancers

As 2017 reaches its end, 76% of freelancers and contractors have revealed they chose to go self-employed, and were not forced into this way of working, research by Qdos Contractor has highlighted.


In 2017, UK self-employment reached record levels, as The ONS Labour Market Statistics showed this way of working accounted for 4.88m people, or 15% of the working population.


Qdos Contractor research into 642 UK freelancers and contractors has highlighted the self-employed workforce is largely made up of people choosing to work this way:

  • 76% chose to go self-employed
  • 24% had no option but to go freelance
  • 69% never expected to work for themselves 
  • 31% had always planned to


Qdos Contractor CEO Seb Maley commented: “Self-employment is increasingly a career choice for millions of people, and for the majority of highly skilled and qualified workers not a route they are forced down as a result of losing permanent jobs.


“With 2m freelancers in the UK, we hope the sheer size, economic and social importance of the independent workforce would be enough to encourage the Government to focus on ways to support this vital sector of the labour market.


“As we approach 2018, we urge The Chancellor to think carefully about the impact that further changes to IR35 and the tax system would have on the UK’s freelance workforce.”


The data also highlighted the ages at which people went self-employed:

  • 45% went out on their own between 31 – 40
  • 22.5% between 25 – 30
  • 22.5% between 41 -50
  • 4.5% between 51 – 55
  • 3.5% between 18 – 24
  • 2.% 56 and over


Seb Maley commented: “The independent workforce is a diverse pool of talent, made up of people of all ages. A healthy variety of freelancers and contractors simply reinforces the widely held opinion that this way of working is the new way of working.”

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