Survey: Lockdown and IR35 Affecting Contractor Wellbeing

Survey: Lockdown and IR35 Affecting Contractor Wellbeing

7 August 2020

IR35 concerns and the coronavirus lockdown has had a negative impact on UK contractor wellbeing and finances, a survey has found.

The survey of over 1,000 limited company contractors found that many were disappointed to be excluded from government support schemes like the self-employed income support and furlough schemes.

50% of contractors have suffered financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The pandemic has created new stressors for 70% of contractors

55% say that the government’s response to the coronavirus has exacerbated their stress

Only 6% said that government support for the self-employed had been adequate

68% say they are less trustful of the government as a result of the coronavirus

ContractorCalculator CEO Dave Chaplin said: “Contractors have been heavily affected by COVID-19, and many are worried about their future.

“As indicated by our survey, matters are heightened by the impending private sector rollout of the ill-conceived off-payroll tax and government’s support offering to the self-employed, of which many legitimate contractors have fallen through the cracks.”

The survey also revealed the impact of coronavirus on contractor work prospects.  One-third of those surveyed said that they haven’t worked at all during lockdown while 28% claim that they have lost ‘some or most’ of their work during the pandemic.

Almost half (48%) said that they have serious concerns about sourcing new work while another 38% said that they were somewhat concerned about finding future work. Director Miles Grady said: “Contractors and other flexible workers have been among the hardest hit financially by the pandemic. This group plays a hugely important role in the smooth running of the economy, but with many apparently struggling to find work, they feel truly let down by the government.

“These feelings will be compounded by incoming IR35 rule changes, which could result in a major exodus of contractors from the sector.”

The survey revealed that close to a quarter (24%) of respondents were considering permanent employment. When asked why, 88% said that IR35 was a key factor and 76% highlighted stresses about sourcing freelance work.

Limited company contractors that are likely to be caught out by incoming IR35 rule changes may be better off operating through an umbrella company. For more information about how a contractor umbrella could benefit you, speak to a member of the team today. Call: 0800 121 6513.