A new report has found that many freelancers are spending their time off chasing late payments.
Holidays are supposed to be about getting away from it all and switching off - right?
For many of the UK’s freelancers, this can be far from the case.
A report by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) has revealed that 9% of contractors hadn’t taken any holiday in the last year - that’s despite as many as 59% saying that time off gives them a better work-life balance.
The report, “Taking time off as a freelancer”also found that a fifth of freelancers undertake business administration activities while they are on holiday - with 21% using up their precious time off to chase late payments from clients.
IPSE has called on the government to end late payment culture to stop contractors having to chase clients during their time off.
Tackling late payment
To tackle the issue of late payment, the Government established the Office of the Small Business Commissioner in 2016, but to date this has not been successful in shifting the poor payment culture. IPSE suggests that one way to improve this would be to give the Small Business Commissioner powers to fine persistent late payers.
The report also calls for a culture change across UK business to end the practice of late payment, particularly for the self-employed, as they shoulder the full burden of credit-control and are less likely to have other sources of income.
Senior research at IPSE, and author of the report, Inna Yordanova, commented: “A good work-life balance is essential for wellbeing and mental health. And many people go into self-employment for just that reason: for the flexibility to fit their work around their life, rather than the other way round.”
It’s not the first time the problem of late payment has been picked up by IPSE. Previous research by the association found that the average freelancer spends 20 days a year chasing late payments, and for 43% of freelancers the result is not being paid at all.
Freedom from late payment
Penny’s whole raison d’être is to set freelancers free from the cash flow constraints of late payment and from having to chase invoices.
Penny lets users create and send invoices to their clients using the Penny app, which then gives them the option to finance their invoice in full. Payment is within 24 hours (once invoice is validated) and Penny then “owns” the invoice -so no more chasing late paying clients and zero risk of not being paid at all.