I’m a self-employed digital marketer for a multinational corporation in the gaming industry. I’ve worked here for two years and I’ve become increasingly frustrated and angry with my employers.
I work in a team of permanent and self-employed contractors – but in reality there is no difference in expectation, workload or flexibility between the two. In fact, I believe it’s worse for contracted staff.
I have all the responsibility of employees on a permanent contract working 9 to 5, five days a week, but I have none of the benefits, like holiday pay or sick pay. I even have annual appraisals just like permanent staff which you normally don’t have when self-employed.
Most people look forward to statutory holidays, such as bank holidays but for me it’s a burden and a worry. I don’t get paid for these days and my company offers me no flexibility of working from home – it is simply forbidden, even though I am fully equipped to carry out my work from home. I can’t even work an extra day to make up for the day which I’m forced to take off.
Being a self-employed contractor, planning for the future is very difficult. If I wanted to do what any normal person my age would want to do such as get on the housing ladder – how would I get a loan with my current contract? Being eligible for a mortgage is near impossible.
Or what would happen if I want to have a child – how could I ever afford to do that, especially as I have no entitlement to maternity pay.
As if it’s not enough I have no prospect of security or stability in the near future, on top of that I’m painfully aware that because I don’t have an employer paying into a pension plan for me, I will never be able to retire and receive a decent pension. How am I supposed to save for retirement with an irregular income and no job security?
Insecure work in Britain has grown out of control and the government is not doing enough.
I feel the only way forward is to unionise.