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The number of professionals turning to freelance work during the coronavirus lockdown has risen four-fold, according to leading freelance platform.

The PeoplePerHour site has experienced an “unprecedented rise” in the number of professionals signing up to pitch for ad-hoc work, while demand for talent in specific areas has also risen as businesses battle to forge a way out of the lockdown without access to their furloughed staff.

Almost 100,000 sign-ups were registered on the PeoplePerHour site in the first 26 days of March, with similar numbers also likely to have appeared during April too.

London is the core of the freelance ‘boom’, with the capital experiencing almost a 500% rise in the number of freelancer sign-ups for gig work. That figure is over seven times higher than any other British city.

Other UK cities experiencing a rise in freelance sign-ups include Sheffield (64%), Edinburgh (63%), Cardiff (53%), Liverpool (50%) and Nottingham (39%).

The COVID-19 lockdown appears to be a ‘perfect storm’ situation for some freelancers, as certain skillsets are in greater demand by businesses than others.

For instance, there has been a 500% surge in the number of firms seeking freelance support for enterprise resource planning. Meanwhile demand for media planning and brand development creatives also surged 400% and 200% respectively between February and March.

Other specialisms in demand by businesses across the UK and beyond include SEO writing (158% rise), marketing management (140%), customer support (112%), logistics and shipping (100%) and Medical translation (100%).

Xenios Thrasyvoulou, founder and CEO, PeoplePerHour, said: “Although various support packages are now in place, the delay has led to a huge number of people [taking] matters into their own hands with many individuals signing up to find freelance work using their skills base to carve out a freelance career.”

“While SMEs have been turning to the growing freelance network to attain the talent they require to keep their businesses going at a time of social distancing.”

Are you thinking of taking the plunge and working for yourself in a freelance capacity? We can work with you to define your accounting and tax requirements as a professional contractor.

As a freelancer, you want to be in total control of your income and be ready to take on that next exciting project without the hassle of accountancy and administration getting in the way.

Our online accounts package can help you get going with invoicing and bookkeeping from day one and your local TaxAssist Accountant can also help you comply with all HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) deadlines.

To arrange a free initial consultation, call our friendly and experienced team today on 0800 0523 555 or drop us a line using our online enquiry form and find out why we’re ideally positioned to make freelance life simple for you.


For our latest COVID-19 news and guidance for your business, visit our dedicated Coronavirus Hub.
We will be updating it regularly as we continue to monitor and digest all the latest information


Date published 30 Apr 2020 | Last updated 25 Sep 2020


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