Freedom Day delay deals ‘financially scarred’ freelancers ‘major blow’

Pandemic has ‘seriously and structurally undermined’ freelance sector, with delay to Freedom Day adding to freelancers’ woes

A study by self-employment trade body, IPSE, has found that two in five (40%) freelancers are not financially prepared for the future.

Another 37 per cent are worried they will be unable to find work as the economy opens, while more than half (58%) reported that their irregular income has left them struggling to access financial support such as loans and mortgages.

Pandemic forces one-quarter of freelancers into debt 

Previous research by the association showed that the pandemic has pushed more than one million freelancers into debt with nearly a quarter (23%) taking on credit cards to get by during the peak of the crisis.

A further quarter (27%) of self-employed people used up most of their savings to survive and 14 per cent went into their overdraft.

Although the easing of lockdown restrictions has helped the sector recover, it remains “financially scarred” IPSE warned, adding that further support is needed to help it get back on its feet.

700,000 freelancers driven out of sector 

The trade body highlighted that the pandemic had driven at least 700,000 self-employed people out of the sector and called for a package targeting some of the hardest-hit industries.

Derek Cribb, CEO at IPSE, said: “The pandemic has left the freelance sector deeply financially scarred, driving hundreds of thousands out of its ranks and pushing a million more into debt.

“So far, the easing of restrictions has had a clear and positive impact, but the freelance sector has been seriously and structurally undermined and it is not enough. The delay in the easing of restrictions is also a major blow.

“Freelancers are one of the most productive and dynamic sectors of the UK workforce, offering vital flexible expertise to businesses up and down the country. For this reason, they have historically always been vital to economic recovery after downturns. 

Sector needs ‘shot-in-the-arm stimulus package’

“This is an extreme and unusual case, however, where freelancers were disproportionately exposed to the financial damage of the pandemic. 

“To get on their feet and play their crucial role in the economic recovery, they will need a shot-in-the-arm stimulus package. This should be particularly targeted at the worst-affected groups, such as limited company directors – who were excluded from support – as well as freelancers in the events and creative industries.”


  • Gary Andrews says:

    IPSE still living in dreamland. This government has no intention of helping limited company directors nor freelancers in events and creative industries.

    The best we can hope for is a new policy launch for this week’s Hi-Viz photo-op distraction, then never to be mentioned again.

  • #ForgottenLtd says:

    Every UK Parliamentary constituency contains thousands of #ForgottenLtd company directors.
    What has your MP done to help you and your business during the crisis?

  • Save Swindon says:

    What makes you so special? Get in line behind automotives, haulage, steel, manufacturing, travel, exports, farming, fishing, financial services and hospitality.
    We’re all in the shit take a ticket and wait at the back.

  • Biggles says:

    All part of the plan to enslave us. You are a fool is you think they ‘system’ gives a hoot about the economy or freelancers. This is Agenda 21 folks, wake up.

    • David Icke says:

      Agenda 21? The 30 year old, non-binding, well-meaning but toothless action plan of the United Nations, aiming for sustainable development by the 21st century?
      Or the fake document circulating on dark websites claiming the new world order are trying to kill 95% of world population using vaccines and headed “THIS IS NOT A CONSPIRACY THEORY”?

    • Diana says:

      Run! The lizard men are coming!

  • John says:

    Have just got my first permanent job is 25 years. Not looking forward to it and really didn’t want it. losing a 1/3 of my normal takehome and I’ve stopped my builder and his 5 workers from any further work on my properties after 12 years of keeping him going.
    Going to use my permanent job for 6-12 months to retrain then I’m leaving UK. The cost of living here far superseads out joint income of £200k.

  • What Tax? says:

    So contractors using dividends, and other tricks, to avoid paying tax (I was a contractor I have seen some dodgy dealings) now want help from the government.

    Seems like a fair request!

  • Rishi says:

    Contractors now live in fear of their own government that they will come knocking on the door for retrospective taxes / investigations into their ‘working practices’ in light of IR35 changes.

    This government have killed the very industry they rely so heavily on yet they prioritise collecting tax over reality of working practices e.g. risk / leave / sickness / paternity – Fair Tax Polices, er yeah right!

    I have no issue paying a fair tax, but why pay the same tax as the person sat next to me when they go off [paid] ‘sick’ for months on end because they just can’t be ar$ed working (many admit they do this!) and the contractor picks up the slack.

    Wake up government and get this sorted.

    • Johnny says:

      Government did this, the only question is why? But you could ask that of a lot the government has done lately, it’s as if they’re ruining the country on purpose.

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