Flex appeal: Why freelancers, contractors and agency workers choose to work this way says this proportion is higher for some groups. For example, 38% of those who have worked temporarily have two children in their household, while 35% are now divorced or separated.
The report added that 11% of temporary workers need the flexibility to look after children, 4% to look after another family member and 14% to pursue other interests. The proportion is higher for older women, with one in five (21%) women aged 40-54 working on a temporary basis to look after children.
REC chief executive Kevin Green said: “Working as a contractor, freelancer or agency worker is a choice for many people, and flexibility is a key reason they opt for this kind of work. Flexible working especially appeals to young people, parents and people scaling back as they approach retirement.
“Sometimes temporary work is looked down on as a second rate or a dead-end career choice. But if you talk to people who work this way, they value being able to fit work around their family commitments, can earn more, or are using temporary assignments to pick up specific skills and experience they couldn’t get elsewhere.
“We need to do more to support people who want a better work life balance, not penalise them. That’s why we want employers to do more to treat their temporary staff like the rest of their workforce, with better communication from managers and access to training.
“The government must simplify the tax system to ensure temporary workers are not caught out by complex rules. They should also require banks to be more accommodating of applications for mortgages from these customers so people aren’t disadvantaged by working flexibly.”
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