Contractor Insights Survey - Is loyalty prevalent amongst UK’s temporary workers?

Tuesday 3rd March, 2015
Agency Info

Our latest contractor insights survey, which asked the opinions of Limited Company and Umbrella Company contractors on topics ranging from market optimism through to their relationship with you their agency, highlighted that contractors based in the UK honour the contracts they accept, seldom leaving early.

This finding was one of many from our recent survey, which gathered the opinions of over 1,600 contractor's.

Those surveyed operated across a variety of industry sectors including Engineering, Oil & Gas, Accountancy & Finance, Office Professionals, Energy, IT, Health & Social Care, Education and Construction.


Our survey revealed that for the most part contractors are loyal, with an average of 76% never having left a contract until the assignment was completed. When looking at some individual sectors this percentage increased, for instance 80% of those in IT, Accountancy & Finance would stay until the assignment was complete, as would 81% of those in Education.

However this could change, with 50% admitting they would consider leaving an assignment early in the future. Nevertheless, this leaves the remaining 50% sticking with a contract until the end.

These findings are further supported from the University of Brighton's research, which highlighted that temporary workers are the happiest in the UK finding contract roles far more fulfilling than working as a permanent employee.

Dr Jonathan Sapsed explained when speaking to the Sunday Times in January 2015 "For many, freelancing is emerging as the ideal lifestyle, especially in creative and digital industries where people can work from any location, including home, and which demand high levels of innovation."

Pay still remains the crucial factor as to why contractors and freelancers may be tempted to leave a role early, with 81% of our survey respondents citing better pay as the key factor.

When looking at a contractor's loyalty to their agencies, the survey revealed that most contractors will use the same agency to find their next contract. However with 56% of respondents having registered with an average of 2-5 agencies, they may still switch if opportunities did arise.


So what could be the driving force behind contractor loyalty?

The majority of respondents felt confident about their future prospects with 65% predicting that they'll find it easy to secure their next contract. Optimism was highest within Health & Social care with 73% remarking that it will be easy to secure their next contract. This was closely followed with 70% of Legal and 66% of Accountancy workers believing the same.

It was not just our survey alone that has brought to light a growing sense of confidence in the contractor market, we have seen the Freelancer Confidence Index from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) and Elance-oDesk also indicating the same positive theme.

Co-author of the index and IPSE research manager Suneeta Johal remarked: "The survey shows a strong end to 2014 with freelance businesses performing well. The results suggest the number of contracts will continue to grow and capacity for freelancers will increase as demand for services rises."

On the other hand, our survey also identified Oil & Gas contractors were the most cynical about future prospects with a mere 42% feeling optimistic about finding their next contract. Human Resources followed with only half pessimistic about what the future holds.

Future plans

So, what does the future have in store for the UK's temporary workforce?

Paul Malley, PayStream's Managing Director commented "Our survey findings have also supported the feeling that optimism is high in the contractor community at the moment with 65% of respondents to the PayStream survey believing that it will be easy for them to secure their next contract and 68% expecting their pay to increase with their next contract.

This optimism is further supported by the fact that the number of freelancers in the UK has grown 12% in the last four years to around 1.6 million according to The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE).

The contractor market is clearly going from strength to strength and is looking like a market that is here to stay."

Pay still remains the crucial factor as to why contractors and freelancers may be tempted to leave a role early, with 81% of our survey respondents citing better pay as the key factor.