UK workers desire to become freelance despite implementation of IR35 in April 2020Despite the implementation of IR35 to the private sector set to take place in April 2020, the amount of UK workers wishing to work as a freelancer has risen to more than a fifth as European workers have seen a drop.

This was discovered through an annual report conducted by Automatic Data Processing (ADP), an American provider of HR management. The report named Workforce View in Europe 2019 showed an increase in the amount of UK employees considering freelancing increased as employees’ desire in Europe decreased.

It showed that 21 per cent of UK workers are actively considering going freelance, one per cent higher than in 2017. At the same time the amount of European workers thinking the same has decreased by 11 percentage points to 15 per cent.

ADP believes as the UK economy has shown to be strong as of late, with rising UK wages and its employment level at its highest since 1970s, many UK workers feel secure enough to take on an independent professional life.

The report also found differences between UK and European workers when it comes to a ‘job for life’ mentality. More than a quarter (27 per cent) of European employees expect to stay in their organisation for the rest of their life while only 19 per cent of UK workers want to do the same.

Jeff Phipps, managing director at ADP UK, said:

Freelancing can offer a fantastic way of life to certain professionals but, as with any career choice, it isn’t for everybody and it seems trends differ remarkably depending on the region. A huge number of employees, both in the UK and Europe, have chosen to follow the self-employed path over the last few years, attracted by freedom, flexibility and control over their destiny. However, many will also have struggled with the insecurity, isolation and significant administrative burden that can come with it, and ADP’s research reflects this.

Despite the challenges, it seems UK employees are continuing to search for greater autonomy and an improved work-life balance through pursuing a more flexible approach to work. Freelancing is a viable option for many, so British organisations must ensure they continue to compete and collaborate with what it has to offer.

From April 2020, private sector companies will have to check if their contractors and freelancers need to pay income tax and national insurance.  This will place the responsibility of categorising contractors and freelancers on the company, which means private sector companies will have to check if their contractors need to pay income tax and national insurance.

IR35 being implemented in the public sector has changed the title of a large amount of people from self-employed to employees, which significantly adds pressure on to HR professionals. Due to the fact they have to make clear the new rules to managers and staff.

The report asked over 10,000 employees from eight territories across Europe, including France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.