5 reasons contractors feel stressed and how to combat them

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To mark this year’s National Stress Awareness Day, we’re looking at some of the reasons contractors might feel stressed and how to overcome it.


1. Lack of assignments

It’s actually a really good time to be a contractor. Recent research from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) shows that a lack of capacity to take on more work could be preventing UK firms from fulfilling their potential, with three quarters planning to increase headcount on a short-term basis. That’s in addition to the 80% that have already taken on contractors in the last year.

So if you’re sat around twiddling your thumbs, you might just need to check that your CV is in tip top condition, including your latest skills and qualifications and the work is soon to start pouring in.

2. Late payment

As a contractor you can suffer significant financial difficulties if a client doesn’t pay on time.

Fortunately for you, there are a number of tried and tested actions you can take to minimise the chances of late payments. The best option is to go through an umbrella company. This means you’ll be employed by them and they’ll be responsible for chasing any payment via the recruitment agency and client.

3. Poor conditions

If you think that you’re being treated differently to permanent employees, it might be worth having a word with a senior person within the business to see why that might be. It could simply be a case of you being seen as the newbie so consider getting involved in some of their social activities so you feel like part of the furniture!

Going through an umbrella company means that you’ll receive the same benefits as permanent employees, like maternity pay, holiday pay and sick pay.

4. Complicated tax and employment legislation

HMRC’s various rules and regulations are a real bug bear for contractors. They’re becoming increasingly complex and difficult to keep tabs on, which gives you yet another reason to opt for an umbrella company. They’ll take care of all your tax and National Insurance Contributions so you can get on with what you do best.

5. Feeling trapped

If you’ve taken an assignment and you’re really unhappy, don’t panic.

While it’s probably best not to leave straight away, you can always give your client notice so they can find a replacement.

Worst case scenario, you might have to stick it out. But this is one of the benefits of temporary assignments. You know it’s only for a set length of time so the end will always be in sight!

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