The future of work

Furlough and Freelancers- Bridging the Skill Set Gap with Freelancers

Furlough and Freelancers- Bridging the Skill Set Gap with Freelancers
Kat Shepherd
Kat Shepherd
July 23, 2021
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Furlough was a reliable way to help keep businesses and staff employed during the COVID-19 pandemic and with many businesses in the UK starting to lift furlough, companies are finding there is a gap between workload and capacity.

Working with freelancers comes with many benefits such as bringing creativity and experience to a project but they also bridge an essential skill set gap that might be opening up as workload starts to increase again.

Working After Furlough

As a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK freelance market grew to 2.2 million in 2020 as millions of people were furloughed or sadly lost their jobs. Heading into 2021, this growth has remained steady as more industries are able to open up again and more businesses start to see the potential working with freelancers brings.

As your workforce starts to come back from furlough and adjust to working life again, hiring freelancers means bringing a fresh new perspective to your business. Freelancers bring their own unique experiences and knowledge to projects that may need a different view.

Old rule (2021 Independent Contractor Rule)New Rule (Effective March 11, 2024)
Basis of classificationRelied on a simpler, more straightforward approach that may not fully capture the complexity of modern work relationships.Restores a multifactor "economic reality" test that considers a wider range of factors to determine employment status.
Legal consistencyCriticised for deviating from established legal precedent and potentially leading to more misclassifications.Aims to align closely with longstanding legal precedent, offering more clarity and consistency in classification decisions.
Impact on workersConcerns were raised that it might make it easier to classify workers as independent contractors, potentially denying them employment benefits.Seeks to reduce the risk of misclassification, ensuring workers who should be classified as employees receive the benefits and protections that they're entitled to receive.
Guidance for employersProvide a simpler framework for employers to classify workers, which could lead to broader interpretations and confusion.Offers detailed guidance through the economic reality test, aiming to provide a clearer path for proper classification and reduce misclassifications.
The UK freelance market grew to 2.2 million

Having been furloughed, your own teams are going to be feeling a whole range of emotions coming back to full time work. By easing them in with additional freelance support, your business is going to benefit far more. Freelancers are used to slotting into working teams and hitting the ground running, helping to increase productivity where your business needs most.

Why More Businesses Are Seeing The Benefits Of Hiring Freelancers

Working with shorter term freelance teams can be the boost businesses need after a period of reduced work or being closed completely. There are of course plenty of other benefits to hiring after furlough including:

  • Saves time - Instead of having to hire new full time employees, working with freelancers help fill a skills gap your business has without spending time on the recruitment process. Businesses spend a lot of time looking for great new talent and after business interruptions, many don’t have the time.
  • ...And money - recruitment costs a lot of money as well as time so by using freelance management platforms to find great new talent quickly, your business will be saving money too. And during a time where budgets are under particular watch, this is another great benefit of using freelancers.
  • Bridges a skills gap - Training your internal teams after being furloughed may not be an option for a business looking to act quickly so hiring specific freelancers to help with projects will bridge the existing skills your business needs.
  • Brings flexibility - Flexibility is another key feature for businesses after such a turbulent period and working with freelancers brings ample flexibility to your business. It means shorter turn around on completing projects, and as many freelancers don’t work full time, you can turn your attention to other teams too.

Whilst it might mean a little more admin for your team at first, working with freelancers after furlough is one of the best moves for your business to help bring projects back up to speed and allow you to focus on running your business.

If you’re considering working with freelancers and want to understand how you could benefit from a management system like YunoJuno, start a demo with our team today.

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