The status of self-employment has been widely discussed across the construction industry recently. Whether you’re employed? Self-employed? Which is better?

Well, recent research has taken a look into this: the impact self-employed workers have on the industry.

With Britain currently facing a housing crisis, the focus on the construction industry has increased. Therefore, Hudson and the Centre for Research on Self-Employment decided to commission a report into freelance workers within the industry.

With self-employment being dubbed the “biggest con going” in additional reports, the results of this one could be quite surprising to more than a few readers. In fact, the report has found that being self-employed is actually beneficial to many workers and companies.

In terms of the monetary welfare of workers, it has, in the past, been believed that self-employed workers sit at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to pay. But, this report actually found that roughly half of self-employed workers sit on the middle shelf in terms of their economic wellbeing. In fact, the lowest 40% of earners were actually found to be mainly employees!

The report instead found that the issue was not on the basis of whether a worker was an employee or self-employed. Instead, the real problem was found to be access to training. When looking at the lowest paid workers, they found that the least financially secure group was low-skilled tradespeople.

When looking at productivity too, self-employed workers were once again coming out on top. In the past, reports have remarked that construction workers lack productivity. Take a look at the full report here. But, speaking to managers across the construction industry, they found that the most common reason for hiring self-employed workers was the flexibility and the productivity they brought to the table.

They added that by using self-employed workers for more specialised jobs, they were able to avoid “idle, unused downtime”.

It was also found that by using self-employed workers, smaller firms would have more scope to grow. This is because they’re able to stop and start jobs at short notice and restart projects later without causing long term issues. Without this, construction giants would be the only ones able to expand.

But, by hiring self-employed workers, smaller firms can compete with these large companies.

From these findings, it was concluded that there is one clear way to help improve the industry. Support self-employed workers!

Not only did the report show there was positive financial reasons behind this, but also flexibility and productivity. And, if we’re going to get out of this housing crisis, could this be the answer?

So what do you think? Are you self-employed? Do you think more self-employed workers could help the industry? Let us know what you think in the comments below.


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