There's no doubt that self-employment has become increasingly popular over the past few years, but by just how much?
According to new analysis from Direct Line for Business, there has been a 3.8 per cent rise in the number of people becoming self-employed over the last decade.
This means that there are now 4.7 million working for themselves compared to 3.8 million ten years ago, making 15 per cent of the UK's total workforce self-employed.
In the past 12 months alone, an additional 174,000 workers have become their own boss, which equates to an average of 478 extra people deciding to take up contracting every day.
At the same time, businesses are increasingly using contractors and freelancers, with 91 per cent reporting that they have used them in the past and 31 per cent revealing that they do so on a regular basis.
The survey also looked at how the way businesses are responding to the rise in self-employment has changed over the past decade, finding that more than two-thirds (68 per cent) now require the contractors they hire to have a professional indemnity (PI) insurance policy.
A further 21 per cent of respondents said they would require contractors to have this type of cover depending on the nature of the assignment.
Jane Guaschi, Business Manager at Direct Line for Business, commented: "An increase in the number of self-employed workers over the last few years means that competition among contractors can be a challenge.
"A contractor who doesn't have the right PI insurance in place is doing themselves a disservice," Ms Guaschi continued.
She went on to explain that this type of insurance can cover limited company contractors against a variety of risks.
"It's also vital for anyone who has access to sensitive information," she concluded.
This highlights that it is not just the right knowledge and expertise that is coveted by businesses amid the skills shortage, but also the correct cover. This is so that organisations can be sure they are hiring a reliable and reputable contractor who won't further compromise their risk profile amid the ongoing skills shortage.
But it also pays for contractors to take out this type of cover to make sure they are insured against events such as clients claiming they have suffered reputational damage or financial losses as a result of work that has been carried out for them.
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