What Are Priorities For Contract Workers?

01 Apr 2021 | 11.13 am

What Are Priorities For Contract Workers?

Fenero identifies remote working and longevity

01 Apr 2021 | 11.13 am

Money no longer talks, as flexibility and longevity of contract are now key priorities for contract workers in Ireland, according to a new study by Fenero.

The study also highlights the fact that a wide gender pay gap prevails in the contract world, as 28% of men report increases in their daily rate as against just 19% of women.

The number one priority for 38% of male contract workers in 2020 was the daily rate or net take home pay, compared to just 21% of women.  But 27% of women ranked length of contract as their top priority.

Fast forward 12 months to 2021 and men’s priorities have changed, with 11% fewer saying that money is the defining factor in choosing a contract.  Instead, contract longevity (29%) and flexibility (27%) are considered equally as, if not more important than the daily rate.

Founder Sinead Doherty (pictured) commented: “The appeal of working as a contractor has long been associated with good rates of pay and this shift in mindset marks a turning point for the future of contracting. Overall, one third of the total contracting workforce in 2020 rated money as the most important factor in selecting a contract, and now it stands at just a quarter.

“With non-financial factors increasing further in importance in 2021, companies need to rethink how they can increase their attractiveness to reach the widest pool of contractors. They need to be able to compete on more than just daily rates.”

They also need to start closing that pay gap, or female contractors will leave the workforce, she said.

Daily Rates

Around 55% of women report being on daily rates of €400 or less compared to 45% of men, and 65% of women say they earn more as a contractor than as an employee, compared to a much higher 77% of men.

Doherty added: “Research is emerging showing that as a result of pressures arising from the impact of Covid-19, particularly related to caring, a significant proportion of women are considering ‘downshifting’ their careers or leaving the workforce entirely.”

For the future, flexibility of hours and the option to work remotely has emerged as the highest priority for contractors, with one in three  respondents stating it will be what they value most, with a hybrid option of office and home-based working being most popular.

The importance of contract longevity ranks second in terms of priorities overall, with 26% of contractors placing it in top spot. “We delved a little deeper and discovered that 12 months is the ideal contract length for a large number of contractors,” concluded Doherty.

Pic: Roger Kenny

 

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