During the pandemic, the Government has offered multiple packages of help for workers, such as the furlough scheme. There has been much criticism, however, about the lack of help provided for freelance workers, particularly in the creative industries. Tomorrow, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce a so called "mini budget", and the 3 million strong freelancer community are hoping that further support will be announced.
This cohort must receive financial support in the same way that other, full-time and permanent workers have been reimbursed. In post-COVID times, the importance of short-term talent cannot be underestimated. 29% of business leaders have already streamlined their teams during the pandemic, and may be looking for talented individuals to help get projects off the ground as business begins to pick up once more.
Justin Small, Founder of The Future Strategy Club - a marketplace and education platform for the finest contractor talent - discusses the importance of freelancers post-COVID:
"Although historically, freelancers have been excluded from the benefits of the permanent workforce - including workplace culture, socialisation and support networks - it is clear that the perception of freelancers and skilled consulting work has long needed an overhaul. Now, with the turbulence caused by the lockdown crisis, the private sector’s reliance on flexible workers will not only become apparent but crucial to its survival, delivering a positive step for the gig economy and its importance to the wider economy as we grow out of the COVID-19 period.
Many businesses have had to or will need to pivot quickly and effectively to remain competitive in the market post-lockdown, so experienced talent will be required to help achieve these. Businesses of all sizes, but particularly UK SMEs, will need to embrace skilled freelancers quickly to pivot, retrain staff and rebuild their business model to help them survive and then thrive as the economy begins to bounce back.”