Many workplaces have standard expectations around the Christmas and New Years season. Some workplaces choose to close down over the holiday period and employees take annual leave. For other workplaces it is the busiest time of the year, so more temporary employees are hired and workers are expected to work throughout the holiday period.
But for contractors and those that are self employed it can be a hard balance of taking time off, and ensuring that you are still earning. Shopless takes a look at what contractors, freelancers or self employed workers should be doing during the holiday season.
Holidays for Self Employed or Contractors
Unfortunately for those that are self employed or contractors you are not entitled to leave or sick days. When taking holidays or being sick it comes at your own detriment. That does not mean you can not take leave or sick days, it just means you will not be paid for them. So if you do choose to have the holiday season off, then you will not be paid for this.
As it currently stands there is no insurance, or benefits that cover self employed or contractors for holiday pay. But there are talks of how to change this, as some New Zealanders are contracted through businesses purely to avoid the standard regulations of a general employee. Such as leave entitlement.
Stuff recently wrote an article explaining labour’s social insurance policy. And the need to create better security for contractors in the long term. Particularly using the example of truck drivers feeling forced to overwork and lie about their hours, to ensure they are being paid adequately to cover holidays and sick days.
Taking a Holiday
If you plan on taking a holiday over the Christmas and New Years period it is important to be open and transparent with any clients that you currently have. Even if you have just started a contract. Ensure that the client knows the start date of your time off, and when you will be returning to work. So that the work you are offered is not urgent, and your client has agreed that work may be delayed because of holidays.
Employers choosing to use your services cannot expect you to fit with their employee schedule. Therefore it is up to you when you want to take leave, even if you have a current contract. But to ensure you have the best client-contractor relationship it is important to be transparent about your holiday situation.
Self Employed and COVID
If you have been self employed for a while, you may be aware that there are governmental support systems in place if your income has reduced due to COVID and lockdowns. Self employed or contractors are entitled to the wage subsidy. And you are also entitled to leave payments if you have been prevented from working due to COVID or lockdowns.
There are other subsidy arrangements for contractors and self employed for those affected over the past two years. You can find out more about provisional tax, the loss carry back system and more through the IRD website, here.
Where to find more work as a freelancer/self employed over the holidays?
Due to the lull in work, and many workplaces shutting down over the holiday and early New Years period. It can be quite hard to find a job for contractors in this season. It really depends on your work as to what platforms suit you best.
For contractors in the writing, video editing, media or data entry international platforms such as Upwork or Fiverr may provide a suitable alternative income for quieter periods. For tradies and practical contractors platforms such as Builders Crack are useful for odd jobs. And Shopless also provides an excellent platform to showcase your skills whatever your contract specialisation is. In our services section here
Shopless has provided you with a bit more insight into working as a contractor or self-employed over the holiday period. If you are looking for employment or if you are looking to list a job. Make sure to check out the jobs sections of Shopless, here.