Freelancers potentially missing out on “thousands” in unpaid work

In 2015, UK freelancers and micro-businesses only got paid for two thirds of the work that they undertook...

31% of the work undertaken by UK freelancers and micro-businesses in 2015 was given away for free; research from FreeAgent has indicated.

Released to mark “Work Your Proper Hours Day”, the survey of the site’s 40,000 small business customers reported that freelancers potentially missed out on “thousands” that they were due last year.

Of the 10 million hours recorded and tracked by FreeAgent’s customers last year, only 69% of their time was billed – meaning many effectively worked for free.

Ed Molyneux, CEO and co-founder of FreeAgent, commented:

“For many UK freelancers and micro-business owners, the typical nine-to-five just doesn’t exist. They often work irregular and long hours, which they may not always get paid for, and on top of this they also have the added pressure of staying on top of their business finances and tax obligations.

“Many business owners invest some of their own personal time into the projects they work on, which they don’t bill their clients for. But we believe there are also many who don’t feel comfortable charging clients for important admin such as meetings and research, which they actually should be including in their bills. By doing so, they may not be working as profitably – or as efficiently -as they could be.”

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  1. That all sounds very familiar, I know I do a lot of unpaid work. However, as a new company we’re having to fight hard to find customers, and many of them are small themselves and probably couldn’t afford to pay the full price. I hope as the business develops we’ll find larger customers and stop feeling the need to do favours.