Nov 3

The rise of the freelancer during the pandemic….how to safely engage them….

Tags:

The coronavirus pandemic has forced SME leaders to rethink their workforce as the reality is that many will be unable to retain or rehire furloughed staff – further they may have made many redundancies and are considering more, despite the reprieve that the further extension of the furlough scheme has provided.

Many of these businesses have turned to freelancers to assist in this challenging period as they look to survive and pivot in this new world….

….similarly, employees on furlough with the permission to work ‘elsewhere’, or who have been made redundant in a market place with few jobs, are having to think creatively about they way they are engaged going forward…

For employers, the argument for utilising freelancers is irresistible given the current situation – they are used to:

• remote working,
• collaborating within teams,
• hitting deadlines,
• they work hard to both retain custom and boost their all-important reputation.

It’s the agility of freelancers that is now most attractive and this trend looks to continue.

THE PROS OF HIRING A FREELANCER

Here are some of the main benefits of hiring a freelancer:

• Experienced experts/specialists in their field
• No obligation to offer holiday/sick pay
• Paid only for the time that they work
• Independent and committed they require little management
• They insure themselves.

THE CONS OF HIRING A FREELANCER

Here are the cons of hiring a freelancer:

• Focus on the job they are hired to do, rather than assist on various tasks
• Experienced freelancers may be expensive
• You are still responsible for their health and safety if working on your premises
• Work on multiple jobs, for many clients so may not always be available
• Remote working so requiring a degree of trust.

LEGALITIES TO BE AWARE OF

As with hiring an employee, there are certain legalities that you need to be aware of when you are hiring a freelancer:

Confidential Information

If the freelancer is exposed to confidential information about your business, then you need to make sure that somewhere in the contract it is made clear that this information is confidential and there will be repercussions if they use or reveal that information.

Intellectual property

When an employee works for you, their work and creation will belong to the business. However, this is different for freelancers. If you want the right of ownership of the intellectual property, this needs to be agreed on and be specified in the contract.

Health and Safety

Most freelancers will work on a remote basis which means that you will not be responsible for their health and safety. However, if they are working on your premises, you will be responsible if they are harmed due to failure to have a safe working environment.

Contract

A contract is the most important document when it comes to working relationships. The contract should include all the details of the working relationship between you and the freelancer, and it should be WRITTEN….although a verbal contract can be easy, it’s harder to use as evidence if there is an issue or dispute.

Contact nicola.goodridge@goodhr.co.uk or call +44 (0)7917878384 for an up to date freelancer agreement.