Study reveals 23% surge in self-employed workers in last decade

In the last year alone, the amount of self-employed workers increased by 478 every day 

The number of self-employed workers in the UK has risen from 3.8 million to nearly 4.7 million in the past decade, according to new analysis by business insurance provider Direct Line for Business.
In the last year alone, the amount of self-employed workers increased by 174,000 – or 478 every day of the year. This section of the workforce now represents one in seven UK employees (15%), contributing to increased competition for contracted work.
The majority (91%) of UK businesses hire contractors for various projects. Nearly a third (31%) of business owners said they had hired contractors frequently, demonstrating some very positive job prospects for the nation’s consultants.
The majority of these businesses (68%) require their contractors to have Professional Indemnity (PI) cover to perform consultancy services for the company, while a fifth (21%) say it would depend on the type of work they would be undertaking for the firm.
Nearly a fifth of business owners require the consultants to have PI to cover over £1 million, with a further 34% (1.83 million businesses) expecting anything from £100,000 to £1 million. The average level of PI cover expected is £715,000.
Jane Guaschi, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business, said: “An increase in the number of self-employed workers over the last few years means that competition among contractors can be a challenge.
“A contractor who doesn’t have the right PI insurance in place is doing themselves a disservice, as this analysis suggests it’s an important factor for businesses hiring contractors.
“Aside from the employment implications, professional indemnity insurance is an important factor for anyone offering advice or professional services. It can cover individuals and businesses for a range of risks such as if a client claims there’s a problem with any work which has led to financial loss or caused reputational damage.
“It’s also vital for anyone who has access to sensitive information or might infringe intellectual property rights.”
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