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New research has revealed that average quarterly earnings soared to their highest level since before the EU referendum.

According to the IPSE’s latest Freelancer Confidence Index, the rise in quarterly rates has been fuelled by pre-Covid levels of work returning in the self-employed sector.

Although the report shows that day rates have increased from £535 in Q3 2021 to £584 in Q4 2021, economic uncertainty and Covid restrictions over the last couple of years have resulted in many contractors struggling financially.

For example, 38% of contractors admit that they are currently in debt with 16% now accruing debt via credit cards issued in the name of their business.

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Derek Cribb, CEO of IPSE (the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed), commented on the findings, “Today’s report shows that the self-employed sector is finally recovering after two years of COVID-19 uncertainty. Work opportunities, day rates and quarterly incomes are soaring towards pre-pandemic levels and freelancers are now able to make a living from self-employment again.

“However, despite this, freelancer confidence has continued to slump as IR35 acts as a sword of Damocles on the industry. The government, therefore, needs to step in and solve the confusion around IR35 if the sector is going to reclaim its position as one of the most dynamic and innovative parts of the UK economy.

“Self-employment can be a driving force for economic growth but if it is to realise its full potential, the sector must be supported by government policies that seek to encourage, not hinder, its natural vibrancy.”

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