Fabric is one of the leading suppliers of freelance and interim talent for the PR, Communications, Digital & Marketing sectors. If you’re an experienced interim consultant looking for new opportunities please contact us on +44 (0) 20 7734 0441 or +971 (0) 4446 9706.
If you’re new to the world of interim working and want to find out more about it, please read our guide below to find out more
What is Interim working?
An interim consultant - also known as a freelance or contractor - is an experienced independent professional who works on a contract basis with an organisation that has a need to outsource its work or bring in outside expertise. An interim’s assignment may vary in length, from a week to 12 months.
Organisations employ interim support for a variety of reasons including:
- Staff shortages (illness, sudden departures)
- Maternity cover
- Project management
- Crisis and issues management
Interim work is a recognised career preference. It offers flexibility, variety and choice - you can start to take control of your own life and achieve a healthy work/life balance. You can also increase your income as you’re being paid specifically for your skills and are often providing senior level consultancy or project management.
What are the downsides?
While there are many positives to being an interim there are potential downsides too; which it is our duty to highlight.
The most noteworthy being that there is no guarantee of regular work, you have to be prepared for the times you may not be working. You will also need to take control of your finances and understand the tax and accounting obligations you will need to abide by.
Day rates and salaries
You will be offered a day rate where clients want a flexible contract period and the rate offered will depend primarily on your experience and relevance to the role. The length of the contract will also have a bearing on the rate. We can accurately advise you on day rates and will always look after negotiations on your behalf with our clients.
For fixed term contracts, for example to cover maternity leave, you are likely to be paid a salary via the client’s PAYE system.
There are essentially two basic options for how you operate financially as an interim; to work independently or stay as PAYE. As an independent you could opt either to be a Sole Trader or to operate via a Limited Company.
Setting up as a sole trader is straight forward and it offers a simple way to administer your business. However, we need to point out that some companies are unwilling to pay a sole trader as it exposes them to certain liabilities. Fabric cannot pay sole traders so your payment agreement would have to be direct with the client. We’d be happy to explain this further on the phone should you have any questions.
A Limited Company offers a flexible approach for contracting. You can either set up and run your own Ltd Co which offers certain tax advantages but you do have to look after your own tax and financial affairs. Or you can set up under an umbrella company. An umbrella company will establish your Ltd Co for you and pay you through the PAYE scheme from your own company. While you may miss some tax relief you gain the advantage of someone else looking after your tax contributions. Both options have pros and cons and we will happily explore them with you. We also strongly recommend that you research this area thoroughly and take the appropriate professional advice.
PAYE means you will either be paid through the Fabric payroll as a temporary worker, or work on a fixed term contract on the payroll of the client with whom we have found you an assignment.
If you are working on a fixed term contract your salary will be paid by the client and will be pro-rated to fit the length of the contract you are offered. The client will take your tax and National Insurance contributions at source and you will be paid the net monthly amount in arrears.
If you are working as a temporary worker you will be on the payroll of Fabric and will be paid a day rate net of tax and NI one month in arrears on production of signed timesheets verifying your hours.
When operating as a freelancer through a Ltd Co or umbrella company you will need to ensure you take out the correct insurance policies, particularly professional indemnity insurance.
You will also need to be aware of legislation known as IR35, which in the broadest terms is designed to ensure organisations employing long term limited company interims are compliant with PAYE rules. For more information please visit the HMRC website at www.hmrc.gov.uk/ir35/index.htm.
Finding out more
If there seems to be lots to take in - don’t worry. We can talk you through each and every step and it will very quickly become second nature. Contact Lucy Carroll on +44 (0) 20 7734 0441.