Skip to main content

Could contracting help to reduce parental guilt?

Paystream News

Kerry Hull

Friday 11th May, 2018

Working parents who choose to become limited company contractors can achieve a healthier work-life balance, and potentially reduce their parental guilt.

'Mum guilt' or indeed 'parent guilt' is a very real emotion, especially when you have to work. Few parents are lucky enough to be able to afford not to work, and, of course, many don't want to give up their careers after spending years gathering knowledge and experience.

As a result, it can be tough to find that balance between spending time with the kids, being there for those important moments, and reaching career goals at the same time.

New data from the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) shows that the number of mums in work has increased by more than 50 per cent since the 1970s, as society's attitudes have shifted dramatically towards women making a more equal contribution to household finances.

But at the same time, cases of so-called mum guilt are on the rise; so, could becoming a limited company contractor and using PayStream's limited company accountancy service My PSC help to stop this guilt?

How many working mums are there in the UK?

The new IFS data shows that in 1975, 50 per cent of UK mothers aged between 25 and 54 worked. By 2015, this had risen to almost three-quarters (72 per cent). Over the 40-year period, there was also a significant increase in the number of single mothers and mums with children or preschool or primary school age who were in work, statistics show.

Overall, the country's female employment rate has risen to 78 per cent for women aged between 25 and 54. In the 1970s, this stood at 60 per cent, marking a dramatic increase.

Commenting on the findings, Barra Roantree, a research economist at the IFS, said: "Employment rates for working-age women in the UK have increased dramatically over the past four decades, particularly for those with young children.

"With the earnings of women increasingly important for these families, understanding the reasons behind persistent differences in the wages of men and women is all the more important."

Self-employment has been a major driver in increasing the number of women in work, even leading to the term 'mumpreneurs' being coined. Working mums who choose to become limited company contractors are able to set their own competitive pay rates, giving them more control over their household's earnings.

But why else is this an attractive way of working for mums (and dads too), and could it even help to reduce their parental guilt?

Contracting: a way to ease parental guilt?

People who work as limited company contractors are better able to achieve a sustainable work-life balance, meaning it can be the perfect option for parents who want to find a healthy split between spending time with their children and working towards their career goals.

Contractors can choose their own working hours, which means parents can fit in their workload around the school run each day, and make sure they can be there for important moments such as special assemblies and sports days.

What's more, contractors only need to take on assignments that they actually have time for, as there's no boss telling them what to do or making them feel as though they have to stay late. This can be just what working parents need sometimes; for example, it can help to take on less work during school half-term holidays.

All of these factors could help to ease those feelings of parental guilt a little, but it's also worth thinking about all of those extra bits that come with being a limited company contractor; it's not just about your workload. Limited company admin, assessing your IR35 status and making sure you comply with HMRC legislation are all essential, and can eat into the time you could be spending with your kids if you aren't confident in what you're doing.

My PSC: More time to spend with the kids?

PayStream's limited company service, My PSC, is designed to provide a safe pair of hands when it comes to your limited company admin. It provides a team of dedicated accountants working on your behalf, freeing up your time to spend on the things that mean the most to you, such as your family. Remember that you became your own boss to spend more time with the kids, not more time on paperwork and limited company admin, so it's worth investing in extra help and support.

Doing these tasks for yourself can be time-consuming. Our My PSC service is designed specifically for contractors and the way that they work unlike, for instance, a high street accountant, which is why there can be a lot of back and forth and chasing involved if you use one of these.

My PSC is also backed up with industry-leading technology. Our specially designed online accounting portal, PSC Insight, helps you to shine a light on your company finances quickly and conveniently, whenever you want. Read more about why you should use My PSC here, and say goodbye to parental guilt for good - or with regard to your professional life, at least.