Pre-pandemic, it was easy to see the attraction to contract work: flexible hours, often the chance of remote working and of course, the money.
But in a post-pandemic world where you can now expect flexible hours and remote working in a permanent role, the lines between contract and perm have become blurred.
Then came the changes to IR35 Legislation in April 2021. A contractor now deemed to be working ‘inside IR35’ will find their work to be less profitable, legally required to pay tax at the same rate as an employee in the same bracket but often without any of the employee benefits.
For many contractors this has been the final straw in the decision to seek permanent employment.
So, if you are still on the fence about whether a permanent role is for you, here are just a few benefits for you to consider.
Currently tax and employee legislation are viewed as separate. You may find that you are considered to be an employee for tax purposes, but when it comes to employee benefits you always miss out.
Holiday and sickness pay are just two of the advantages of perm roles. Not being able to rely on sick pay can be daunting, especially in the current climate. Likewise, the freedom that comes with contract work can be great, but you won’t get paid for any time off or between roles.
We saw with covid that when things got rocky, contractors were the first to feel the effects. For example, in 2020 only 3,061 contract jobs requiring an analyst were posted, compared to almost 11,000 in 2019.
The new tax legislations are also a concern to employers. The added time and money needed to meet IR35 requirements may lead to a reduction in the number of contract hires.
For some, this seems to be the perfect time to make the leap into permanent employment. This career move isn’t as irreversible as the word permanent makes it sound!
Recent studies have shown that the millennial work force move freely between companies more than any other generation, with gen z looking to follow suit.
A permanent employment contract doesn’t require you to sign your life away, it just offers you more security as you go.
When it comes to the benefits of flexible and remote working, contractors have been way ahead of the game for years.
Pre-covid, many contractors enjoyed the benefit of working out of the office, happy to avoid office politics. However, the pandemic has shown us the importance of a strong support network, especially in a work setting.
Post-covid, almost 3 in 4 people say that flexible working improves their mental health.
In fact, 58% of people now value happiness as a more important factor than salary when it comes to staying in a job. Building this support network can be hard if you are always on the move between jobs.
Many contractors don’t view getting to know a team well as a priority, instead viewing it as a chance to build an impressive network of contacts for future opportunities.
However, a lot of contractors speak of feeling lonely, lacking that time to build strong-lasting relationships, and always feeling like an outsider having to repeatedly prove their skills.
This can have an unconscious impact on productivity levels. One study found that simply by being happier, productivity levels can increase by up to 13%!
One of the main attractions of contracting is the variety of jobs. Every company is likely to be different to the last, making it more unlikely that you will lose interest over time.
However, the tech industry moves fast, and you need to be able to keep up. There are an increasing number of tech startups making headway in the industry. Startups are exciting places to work, offering a variety of roles, yet still allowing for personal development.
If there is a decrease in demand for your skillset, it will be harder to find industry work. This is where training and development come in to play.
Some employees offer on the job training to contractors, but this is far less in-depth as the training offered to permanent employees. Contractors are often held to a higher standard, expected to come into a company and start delivering straight away.
This means that most personal development must be done in your own time. Likewise, most of the time you are expected to bring your own equipment or work entirely remotely. As you can imagine, financing training courses and equipment doesn’t come cheap.
Companies will often finance training for their permanent employees, seeing it as an investment. This not only helps to build the company but allows for personal development, setting you up with a desirable skillset for future employment opportunities.
So, whilst you may be working a variety of roles, the financial aspect to training and equipment can lead to a lack of career progression.
The conversation around contract and permanent roles can often seem polarizing, but the reality is the two have never been more closely intertwined.
The word permanent can feel intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. Most people will go through a variety of permanent roles until they find one that sticks. If you are a contractor looking to make the shift, it may not be as dramatic as you fear.
In any case, you won’t know until you try.
If you’d like career advice or want to learn more about the opportunities available in tech, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our consultants who have valuable experience in the tech market: 011742 80600.