Brexit: What Does it Mean to the UK's Freelancers?

29/06/2016 12:49

Last Friday, the UK woke up to political upheaval and economic turmoil. In a move that seemingly stunned both campaigns involved, the British public voted 51.9% in favour of leaving the European Union, putting the country into a tailspin. A number of major political moves have happened since the result of the referendum was announced, including the announcement by David Cameron that he will retire as Prime Minister after the Conservative Party conference in October, the mass resignation of the Labour shadow cabinet, and calls for a second referendum on Scottish independence after Scotland voted overwhelmingly to remain a part of the EU.

Up and down the country business leaders are attempting to make sense of the news, and what a Britain that is not a part of the EU will look like from an economic perspective. It was speculated that banking giant Morgan Stanley were planning on moving 2,000 jobs out of London and to Dublin, or possibly Frankfurt, though this has since been denied. How the UK's exit from the EU will be handled will affect the movement of large businesses, as well as their relationship with the single market.

Another important question will be raised around those who are working as freelancers. With the number of people choosing to work freelance rising in the last couple of years, it is estimated that they make up 14% of the total UK workforce. Any question marks over this section of the UK's working population could have the potentially have dire consequences on the already fragile British economy.

In the weeks leading up to the referendum vote, a great deal of speculation was being thrown around in the press around what would happen to freelance jobs in the event of Brexit. Changes to the free movement between the UK and Europe would be very serious for UK freelancers who would be otherwise willing to travel to places such as Germany or France in search of lucrative work. On the other side of this coin, industry experts also pointed out the potential benefits that could work in favour of freelancers. For one, they would no longer be tied to the ever controversial EU rules and regulations that might affect their ability to work, like the Agency Workers Regulations, for example.

Job security will potentially be threatened for British workers across a number of industries, and it's important to highlight that freelancers, in theory, have the least amount of job security. This is something that those who do not hold a permanent position within a company should be paying close attention to, particularly as any errors can be reputation damaging. In a light-hearted look at what can go wrong for freelancers, this professional indemnity game from AXA can help you recognise if you are at risk.

It can therefore be seen that there are as is as much speculation surrounding what will happen to Freelancers, post Brexit, as there is around the economy itself. The common theme in the news, and across social media with there is utter confusion about what the country has voted for, not least what it will mean for freelancers, but for the country as a whole. Who will be the next Prime Minister? When will Article 50 be invoked, and by whom? Who will for the opposition? Will Scotland have a second referendum on independence? What will happen in Northern Ireland, the only part of the UK that will share a land border with the EU?