Many freelancers are uncertain about what Brexit means for business. The freedom of movement that being part of the European Union provided, gave freelancers the opportunity to find work in a large market. The imminent threat of a no-deal Brexit makes the possibility of an end to the freedom of movement more likely and the need to prepare even more critical.
What Brexit means for the technology sector
As a leader in the technology sector, Britain will suffer post-Brexit as it relies on immigration to meet the demand for skilled workers. If this workforce is cut off, British businesses will struggle to fill highly skilled job roles, failing to meet the needs for growth and development.
On the other hand, many tech companies have highlighted that employing foreign workers brings its own challenges, including cultural differences and language barriers, concluding that they would rather employ local talent if they could.
The impact on freelancers
Without freedom of movement, British freelancers will be forced to either relocate or stay within the UK, restricting the nature of freelance work. For those who chose to stay, however, there may be more opportunities than there first appears.
In terms of the EU law, the ties of the current EU rules and regulations such as the Agency Workers Regulations, would no longer be a restricting influence on freelancer’s ability to work.
A somewhat positive outcome of the uncertainty over Brexit is that British companies will be looking for a more flexible workforce post Brexit. The flexibility freelancers provide will become extremely valuable as companies look for a highly skilled workforce that can be approached when needed, ultimately driving demand for freelancers.
Although the loss of foreign workers is bad for UK business, it does create an opportunity for British freelancers. With the number of clients set to increase and less available skilled workers from abroad, companies will be looking for more local talent and British freelancers will benefit from the increase of work available.
How to attain more work after Brexit
With the demand for freelancers likely to increase it makes sense to focus on British clients. Freelance job sites are a good place to start as clients new to hiring freelancers with little knowledge on the industry will use these sites as a platform for reaching local talent.
Another lucrative source of income that freelancers often overlook is public sector work. Working for the government can be rewarding and provide a sense of security, particularly post Brexit. Strict rules and guidelines ensure contracts are fair and all invoices are paid on time, a real benefit through this period of uncertainty.
With the loss of foreign workers imminent the public sector are likely to put a focus on recruiting local talent. Ensure you understand how government freelance contracts work and the best places to find public sector contracts as these are likely to bring a lot of work to British freelancers in the near future.
While there is a lot of talk in the press about how the economy will be affected in the event of a no deal Brexit, it looks like there might be a stronger situation for those who want to work freelance.