The Freelance Headlines: August 2019

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Once a month, we cover the freelance headlines and news affecting freelancers. If you missed last month’s news update, you can find it here. So let’s see what’s happening in the freelance world this August…

#1 Freelancers struggling with late payments

According to a recent survey from freelancing platform YunoJuno, many freelancers aren’t being paid on time for their work. They found that:

  • 41% of freelancers are paid consistently late.
  • 55% haven’t been paid for work they’ve delivered.
  • The average late invoice was overdue by 2.5 weeks.
  • 53% don’t know their rights when client’s fail to pay.
  • 34% don’t understand late payment charges.

And when it comes to the aftermath:

  • 10% do nothing when a client is late to pay.
  • 23% continue to work for clients who are drastically late paying invoices.
  • Only 33% have stopped working for consistently late-paying clients.
  • Only 7% have late payment charges, but 25% of those don’t enforce them.
  • 20% don’t feel confident in enforcing late payment charges.

To avoid being one of the freelancers who do nothing when clients don’t pay, check out What Can You Do When Clients Don’t Pay?

 

#2 Fastest-growing freelance markets

Giant payment provider Payoneer recently released the Global Gig Economy Index, revealing the fastest-growing freelance markets in the world based on a sample of more than 300,000 freelancers. They were:

  1. USA (78% growth since the same quarter in 2018)
  2. UK (59% growth)
  3. Brazil (48% growth)
  4. Pakistan (47% growth)
  5. Ukraine (36% growth)
  6. The Philippines (35% growth)
  7. India (29% growth)
  8. Bangladesh (27% growth)
  9. Russia (20% growth)
  10. Serbia (19% growth).

The reasons for growth in these countries were varied, ranging from tax breaks for freelancers and organisations who hire them in some countries (for e.g. Ukraine) to training for local talent (the Phillipines), organisations hiring freelancers to avoid risk (UK & USA), and government-led training programs (India). (Information from: Forbes)

 

#3 Freelance by age

The same Payoneer report offered some interesting insights into age categories for freelance workers. While the younger generation makes up the majority of freelance workers, especially in countries with developing economies, their earnings were generally the lowest.

Payoneer found that:

  • 64% of freelancers are 18-34 years old, but only pick up 53% of the total earnings.
  • 23% of freelancers are 35-44 years old, but gain the most—with 32% of the earnings.
  • 9% of freelancers are aged 45-54 and pick up 9.4% of the earnings.
  • 5% of freelancers are aged 55+ and gain 4.9% of earnings.

 

#4 Freelance organisations demand legislation changes

A group of 11 freelance organisations have written an open letter to the new PM and Chancellor requesting them to put a hold on private sector legislation that is set to affect contract-based freelancers. We looked at the changes to IR35 in previous headlines, with the impending changes relating to loan charges and extension of off-payroll rules.

In the open letter, these organisations call for the PM and Chancellor to:

  • Suspend the loan charge.
  • Conduct an independent review into the loan charge.
  • Remove the off-payroll tax from the draft Finance Bill.
  • Reassess the freelance sector’s contribution to the UK economy
  • Conduct an investigation into HMRC.

Stay tuned for more information on this subject…

Have any of these issues affected you? How do you deal with late payments?Comment below or get in touch.

And follow A Freelance Life for more freelance tips and news every Monday.

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