In one of our recent blog posts, we related how more and more UK graduates are electing to take up contractor-style employment rather than pursuing more traditional avenues. However, it seems that it is not only the graduate world that is experiencing such a trend, as self employment has now hit record heights across the length and breadth of Britain. Figures reported by BBC News reveal that the total number of self-employed workers has risen by more than 170,000 to peak at 4.37 million, and this represents an advancement of 4.1% during the last quarter of 2013.

When one looks back at the recent history of UK self employment, this is a genuinely staggering escalation. One-in-seven British workers now earn their living through a self-employed occupation, and it appears to have been the recession that has stimulated such a vast surge in people working for themselves. Since the recession years of 2008 and 2009, the number of self-employed persons in the UK has steadily grown by a notable 15%, and more than half of this figure has actually been realised since the second half of 2011.

Self-employment has evidently been the saving grace for the UK job situation, as without this strong trend the total scale of unemployment could easily have reached especially worrying depths. This relatively new inclination also shows no signs of regressing now the economy has begun to stabilise, and most people who conduct their careers on a part-time self-employed basis have no particular desire to convert this occupation into full time employment. Clearly, self employment is attaining an ever more valuable place within the UK economy.

The popularity of self employment in a general sense conceals numerous different ways to work for yourself; and contracting is one of the most popular options available at present. Broadly speaking, a contractor works on a contract basis for another person or business, but is not actually an employee of the body they work for. At ICS, we specialise in working alongside such persons, and provide a comprehensive service to help contractors’ better focus upon their strengths.

Whilst self-employment is obviously an appealing career route for many to take, many find the burdens of conducting accountancy and administration to be a major downside. If the idea of a contracting lifestyle without endless paperwork is attractive to you, then our dedicated contractor accountants service can allow you to commit more time to your direct job, without the hassle of ensuring that you are in full compliance with regulations yourself. For more information, contact us now.