How to Take Time Off if You’re Self-Employed

 In Contractors, Freelancer Tips

Being self-employed allows you freedom. You have the freedom to choose what work you want to take on, who you want to complete work for, how you want to complete that work and how many hours you want to give yourself to work. This flexibility of managing your entire working life is a pleasure to those who seek to have control of their schedule. These benefits are currently being felt by 4.75 million self-employed workers in the UK.

There comes a time in everybody’s work schedule when some time away is needed. Everybody is entitled to a holiday, even when you are your own boss. Obviously, you are no longer entitled to the holiday pay you would routinely have if you were employed by somebody else. This may prevent you from wanting to have a holiday but the benefits of taking a short break should disperse those doubts.

 

What are the benefits of taking time off?

  • A chance to refresh by completely switching off from work
  • Spending time with friends and family
  • Your quality of work won’t be hampered by constant working
  • Renewed motivation on return from a prolonged break
  • Abate anxiety and stress
  • Use the time away for personal development

Managing your personal time can be tricky. It’s easy to give yourself a lot of time off as everybody loves a holiday. Ultimately, giving yourself too much time off will hamper your profits and your clients could lose faith in your availability and take their work elsewhere. As a self-employed worker, contractor or freelancer, it’s important to maintain that balance. With the right planning, this can be done effectively.

In this blog, 3 Wise Bears have compiled a few handy tips for taking time off when self-employed, that will alleviate any disruption to your business and your customers.

 

Let your clients know when you are taking time off

This is where good planning certainly is needed. Your clients will not be impressed if you only inform them of a holiday just as it is about to begin – especially those requiring work to be completed urgently. When you have scheduled a break, send a personalised email to each of your clients so they have the time to plan for your absence.

There are other measures you can take to keep your clients informed. You could include your holiday dates within your email signature. If you have a social media site, post your dates on there but remember to remind your clients closer to the dates as well. If you use an online work calendar, you could invite your client to view your schedule remotely.

 

Outsource the work to another contractor or freelancer

As someone who is self-employed, you are likely to be working by yourself. If you have time off then there is nobody else left to cover the business while you get that well-earned rest. The emails and phone calls to the business won’t stop as you take some time away from them. It is sensible to consider outsourcing this work to a trustworthy freelancer to take those correspondences for the short term. They can keep you in the loop for when you return and also contact you in case of an emergency.

If there is any work that needs to be completed with urgency, assigning a contractor or freelancer to take on the tasks will avoid any disruption to the workflow. This will keep your client very happy.

 

Sourcing help with your accounts

Hiring a professional to make sure all of your accounts are accurate and detailed will not only save you time, it will also give you peace of mind knowing you will not have an unexpected visit from HMRC. Your workload already puts enough pressure on you as you complete tasks to tight deadlines, so why add to that by completing your accounting by yourself?

3 Wise Bears are accountants for freelancers and contractors and we offer a bespoke package for the self-employed.

 

What are the benefits of a 3 Wise Bears Contract/Freelancer Account package?

  • Personal Accountant
  • Full support throughout the year
  • HMRC tax registrations
  • PAYE Setup
  • VAT returns
  • Corporation Tax filing
  • Year end accounts
  • Annual confirmation statement
  • Director Payroll and P11D
  • Salary and Dividend planning
  • Take home pay maximisation
  • IR35 advice
  • Quarterly reviews
  • Expense advice
  • FreeAgent Software Subscription

 

Avoid Large Contracts

Saying yes to every opportunity of work is easy, as you want to take on as much business as you can. Taking on a large job just before your planned holiday would not be a wise decision as neither you or the client will benefit from this. There’s a chance that your time off could be disrupted or your quality of work diminishes as you try your best to squeeze it into your schedule.

If you are offered a job that has a start date that is before your holiday, you should explain to the client of your upcoming vacation and your intention to begin the work on your return.

If you’re considering becoming self-employed or are already self-employed and would like some accounting advice, you can contact the 3 Wise Bears who can go through your options with you.

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