Brexit: What could it mean for contractors and freelancers?

Brexit

As the Brexit debate rumbles on in Parliament and the UK seems no closer to clarity on what Brexit will look like, many contractors and freelancers will be wondering about the impact that it will have on their businesses. Of course, it all depends on what kind of Brexit we end up with and the specifics of your industry. In this blog, we take a closer look at what the likely impacts of Brexit might be for contractors and freelancers and whether there are any sectors that might see benefits when the UK exits the EU.

Research by IPSE found that self-employed workers favoured a “soft” Brexit model. Single market access, the free movement of skilled professionals and a transitional period were all popular with the self-employed workers that IPSE polled. However, the Government’s existing proposed deals, and their “red lines”, seem to be favouring a “hard” Brexit. With little agreement in Parliament and few clear answers from the Government on how the self-employed should be planning for no-deal, it’s fair to say that the B-word is causing a lot of anxiety amongst contractors.

If you work in the EU a lot, you may be worried about the impact that Brexit will have on your ability to continue to contract to EU firms. The picture on this is still extremely unclear, but in the event of no deal, each EU member state will be able to set their own immigration rules, and it is unlikely that they will restrict access to temporary working visas for UK nationals.

Even some of the extreme doom-and-gloom prophecies of no-deal Brexit could have positive impacts for some contractors. The rapid change and adaptation required to adjust without a transition period could mean that affected industries seek to bring in expertise to help them deal with new challenges. Lorry queues, supply shortages, healthcare strategy – if any of these areas are in your expertise, prepare to be busy! Contracting will allow these industries to get the best expertise and experience in to adapt to change, and may be an attractive option to businesses who aren’t in a position to commit to long-term hires.

This pattern may ripple out across other industries – rather than offer the security of permanent roles, firms may instead make increased use of contractors and freelancers, taking advantage of their flexibility and specialised expertise.

To emphasise again, no one really knows what the impacts of Brexit will be. Some industries such as car manufacturing and property have been seen to be particularly vulnerable to the impacts of Brexit. But other industries are seen as more robust; IT, technology, and research and development are all seen as potential assets to help the UK economy weather the effects of Brexit.

We know that uncertainty like this isn’t fun. Our business is all about helping our clients minimise risk by being adequately covered. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, having Kingsbridge’s specialist insurance tailored to contractors and freelancers means there is one less element of uncertainty in your life, leaving you to focus on adapting. You can get a quote online by visiting www.kingsbridge.co.uk.

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