While a lot of people may think that a job is a job, there are clearly many different ways to earn a living. In recent times, there has been an increase in the number of people who are self-employed, and if you are thinking about this style of work, it is important that you know what it entails. There are some key differences between regular and self-employment that you need to know.
One of the key positives of regular employment over self-employment is that a regular job should provide a higher level of protection. With this type of post, you will receive holiday pay, there is legislation, such as the National Minimum Wage legislation, covering you, there is the working time directive and there is legislation to ensure you are not discriminated against.
All of these aspects should provide you with a happier and more productive working environment and many self-employed people will often not be able to provide themselves with these aspects. You often hear about self-employed people working long hours and not earning enough to provide themselves with the minimum wage. In a regular job, this wouldn’t happen but it can with self-employment.
Some people prefer self-employment
Of course, there are benefits with self-employment. If your business is a success, you can take a larger profit, rather than just the wage. You can be flexible with your time, allowing you a better work-life balance and if you can cover the work, there is nothing to stop you taking holidays. It may be that you prefer the flexibility provided by self-employment as opposed to the regulatory support that people in regular employment benefit from.
You’ll find that in comparison between regular employment and self-employment, aspects that are a positive or negative will depend on your nature and personality. If you are in a regular job, it may be that you enjoy being able to leave your work behind when you clock out and knowing that the responsibility lies with someone else. However, if you are self-employed, it may be that you enjoy responsibility and you like knowing that your hard work and effort will be rewarded.
Another thing to contend with when deciding between self-employment and regular work is that some people will have a different perception of you. People who have undertaken self-employment in the past knows how difficult it can be to keep working when you are by yourself. People who are self-employed need to be able to motivate themselves every day and make sure that they can work to a high standard. Sometimes in a standard workplace environment, there is an opportunity to slack off or not be as productive as you should, but self-employed people don’t have this benefit.
Conversely, you may find that people who haven’t been self-employed may think that your role is easy. There is a perception amongst some that people who work for themselves work fewer hours and can get by with minimum work. This isn’t the case but you need to be prepared for people thinking this way about you.
However, there is an area of difference between these roles that can cause issues, and this relates to tax and national insurance. Someone in a regular job should be covered by PAYE which means their employee takes these payments at source, which means the employee doesn’t have anything to worry about. A self-employed person is responsible for tax and national insurance payments, and this is a serious matter.
Thankfully, help is available though and anyone looking for assistance in handling their self-employed or contractor tax requirements can get help. The use of umbrella PAYE ensures you can focus on your key business tasks while knowing that your tax payments are taken care of.
It may be that your skills or personality will leave you better suited to regular employment or self-employment, so make sure you consider both options fully before deciding what is best for you.