Recent years have seen rates of self-employment growing rapidly – with the number of people working for themselves increasing by 1.5 million between 2001 and 2017, according to the Office for National Statistics. In fact, Fruitworks – a company offering co-working spaces – estimates that 1 in 10 people in the UK now run their own business.
But the self-employment route isn’t just reserved for those working behind a desk. Online statistics and market research portal Statista, claim one-fifth of the nation’s SMEs (small and medium-sized businesses) work in the construction sector – with 172,000 self-employed people currently working in the building trades.
In 2017, Statista valued the UK construction industry at almost £164 billion (more than double the value recorded in 2000). But that, unfortunately, doesn’t mean small businesses and those working for themselves aren’t having to deal with late or non-payments…
We hear lots of stories about cowboy builders but what about cowboy customers? Unpaid invoices can have crippling consequences – no matter what sector you operate in. This is why On the Tools teamed up with Scruffs Workwear as part of their #PayWhatYouOwe campaign, creating a social media video to highlight the issue.
The user-generated video gained almost a million views on Facebook and became a key talking piece, with people sharing their own struggles to help support the campaign – and ultimately to help raise awareness of the issue to a wider audience.
Alongside the video, Scruffs also launched a petition in an effort to establish more robust support and legislation for tradespeople – particularly those who are self-employed – which would protect them from late and non-payments. At the time of writing this article, the petition had received 332 signatures and counting, with a target of 500. You can read more about some of the suggestions proposed and sign the petition here.
What Else Can You Do?
Late and non-payments are a problem across various sectors – not just the construction industry. So the more people we can get to sign the petition the better. And hopefully, this is just the start of real change and better rights for small businesses and those working for themselves.
But until this change becomes a reality, check out our blog post with handy tips on how to get paid on time – and what to do in the case of late or non-payments.