The world has changed significantly in the past few months, with the vast majority of us now cooped up at home to avoid catching or spreading the deadly coronavirus. Though some countries are beginning to reopen their borders and allow citizens to work, travel, and shop, it is important that you follow the guidelines given to you by your employer and government.
Below, we’ve put together five key tips for contractors during the COVID-19 crisis.
Only work if it’s safe to do so
Perhaps most importantly, you should only work if it is safe for you to do so. It’s so easy to think that you’re invincible and that you won’t be affected by the coronavirus, but that is simply not true. We understand that working and providing an income to your family is critical but that should not come at the expense of your health and wellbeing. If you’re concerned for your safety, let your client know and return to their site when you’re comfortable doing so.
Know what support is available
The government has announced an unprecedented package of support for small businesses and the self-employed, but working as a contractor could mean that you fall through the gaps and end up receiving no financial support. Look into your options and speak with HMRC or your accountant if you’re not sure; the sooner you’re up to speed, the easier you’ll sleep!
Get accounting support
Nobody should have to battle losing their livelihood alone. Whether you’re still working or you have temporarily lost clients, we recommend working with an umbrella contracting company who can offer support and help you pay the right tax. Look into options and make sure you’re operating in the most efficient structure, whilst claiming all available support.
Industry bodies are issuing specific guidelines to help businesses and self-employed get back to work. Whether you work in construction or IT, do your research and stay up to date on the latest developments so that you’re prepared and ready to get back out there. This could be the difference between staying safe or keeping your business afloat, so do not bury your head in the sand. Use social media so you’re in the know and can operate safely.
Speak to your clients
Finally, make sure your clients are aware of your situation. Some are able to offer support, such as furloughing you during the coronavirus crisis, which will ensure you receive a wage without having to work. Be transparent and open to ideas – they may be able to help you navigate these challenging times, and even if they can’t, knowing they’ll be needing your services once we return to a more normal state of affairs will give you a vital safety net.
Whatever challenges come your way in the next few months, we wish you the very best of luck. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks on working safely and maintaining your income.