SEISS support has helped millions of self-employed workers over the last year or so but despite this, the Government has been forced to alter the eligibility rules a number of times in the face of mounting criticism. With all these changes, the Government acknowledged claiming mistakes can happen but nevertheless, penalties can be issued.
Despite the prolonged economic damage to the field combined with SEISS eligibility problems, self-employment itself appears to be on the rise.
New research from PeoplePerHour, the freelance jobs marketplace, showed more people have turned to freelancing alongside employee jobs during the pandemic.
PeoplePerHour detailed: “Nearly one in five freelancers (19 percent) are now self-employed as a side-hustle alongside an employee position.
“Nearly two fifths of these (37 percent) said they started freelancing in the last 12 months, suggesting a spike in the number of side-hustlers during the pandemic.
Xenios Thrasyvoulou, the founder of PeoplePerHour, commented on these findings.
He said: “Just like the Bank Crisis before it, the pandemic has proven to be a powerful catalyst for people to reassess their work lives.
“Whether this is through freelancing full-time or supplementing their employment with a side-hustle, British workers are exploring the best way to take control of what they earn.”
Andy Chamberlain, a Director of Policy at the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed, also had the following to say on the results: “There has been a remarkable increase in the number of people working a freelance side-hustle.
“This seems to be a function of the additional time many employees have got out of the pandemic – whether because they have been furloughed, unable to work their normal jobs or simply because they are no longer losing time to the daily commute.
“For some, of course, this trend reflects the need for additional income because of the financial hit of the pandemic. For others, it seems likely this is a positive trend: that they have been able to use their extra time – and the flexibility of freelancing – to explore hobbies and passions and turn them into added income.
“The key is for the government to ensure there remains a welcome and supportive business environment for these new freelancers once the country opens up again: to support this new enterprise whether people are fully self-employed, or part-time freelancing alongside other work.”
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