Female contractors face greater financial problems, finds survey

(2 minutes to read)

IPSE: ‘The pandemic has brought disproportionate financial struggles on many self-employed women. Even before 2020, they faced a much greater gender pay gap than among employees’.

New research has found that female contractors are more likely to have financial problems, with one of the key reasons being that they’ve experienced more late payment issues.

These findings from the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) show that as many as 49% of female contractors said they had had issues with late payment before the pandemic, compared to 40% of men.

However, since the pandemic, 40% of women said they’d experienced late payment, compared to just 23% of men.

Female contractors also have the added problem of reduced government support because of maternity leave, for example, campaign groups such as Pregnant Then Screwed have pointed out that those who took maternity leave during the tax years used to work out the SEISS, were given a significantly reduced grant.

Chloé Jepps, Head of Research at IPSE, said, “The pandemic has brought disproportionate financial struggles on many self-employed women. Even before 2020, they faced a much greater gender pay gap than among employees: the average female freelancer charged £65 less than their male counterparts and was more likely to want support and guidance to stop them undervaluing themselves. Now, the pandemic has exacerbated the financial divide between male and female freelancers.”

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Chloé added, “Although there has been a bigger drop in the number of self-employed men than women – in large part due to the varied impact on different sectors – the women still in self-employment are facing greater financial struggles than their male counterparts.

“Women are not only more likely to be unable to pay basic business and living costs: more of them are also having to borrow from family and friends and sell items they own as a result. A big driver of this is the fact that significantly more women than men are affected by late payment – and the impact of this is also worse on female freelancers’ mental health, driving them to stress, sleep loss and lack of confidence.

“These are broad trends across the female freelancer community: there are also many self-employed mothers with added worries. Too many freelance mums still receive less government support just because of when they took maternity leave.

“Overall, it is clear that although more women have clung on in self-employment, of those freelancers who remain, the financial strain of the pandemic is hitting women harder, both practically and in terms of mental health. This is an area that both government and industry should look at – to ensure all self-employed people regardless of gender can enjoy the freedom of freelancing and play their vital part in economic recovery.”

To find out more about contracting please contact Jaime on 01442 795 100 or email jaime.thorpe@dolanaccountancy.com.

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Why Dolan Accountancy?

Dolan Accountancy was set up by Simon J Dolan, the man behind the well-known brand SJD Accountancy. With over 25 years experience in the contracting marketing, Dolan Accountancy has the heritage, reputation and credibility you can trust. Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT per month. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost. We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours.
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With changes in Public Sector IR35 Legislation we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella.
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams.
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – The founder behind the multi award winning FreeAgent platform was one of Simon’s first clients, therefore it only seems fitting that we offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge.
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year.
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status.
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative.
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few.
  • Same day payments- We offer same day payments as standard providing funds are received into our account by 9am, for no additional fee.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795100 or email sophie.lewis@dolanaccountancy.com or jaime.thorpe@dolanaccountancy.com.