Brexit uncertainty knocks freelancer confidence

However, confidence levels have more than doubled from 15% in the second quarter of 2016 to 33% in Q3

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Uncertainty surrounding Brexit has had a significant impact on the confidence levels of the UK’s 1.91 million freelancers, according to a survey from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) and Upwork.

42% of freelancers surveyed claimed that the result of the referendum damaged the performance of their business in the third quarter of 2016, while over 50% said they expect Brexit to continue to affect their performance over the next year.

Another 59% of freelancers predicted a bleak outlook for the UK economy over the next 12 months, with 39% concerned about their business performance over the next year and 62% expecting their business costs to increase.

However, business confidence was up on the previous quarter, with 33% of those surveyed expressing a positive outlook for the next 12 months, compared to just 15% in Q2.

While the average daily rate for freelancers fell from £421 in Q3 last year to £403 in 2016, 42% said they expect their rates to increase over the next 12 months, citing personal brand, innovation of services and collaboration as the factors that will have a positive impact.

Chris Bryce, CEO of IPSE, said: “Brexit gave freelancers pause for thought, but confidence may be beginning to return in their business outlook. We want a post-Brexit Britain freelancers can thrive in.

“Autumn Statement will be critical in returning confidence to the sector and we hope to see the Chancellor announce measures to support independent professionals.”

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