Hot topic: Portfolio careers and 'side hustles', part two

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The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed (IPSE) recently found that 320,500 self-employed people now have two or more jobs

Does this rise of the ‘slashie’ signal a more creative autonomous way of working, or are multiple jobs a sign that people are struggling to make ends meet? And how should employers respond?

Chloe Jepps, deputy head of research at IPSE, says:

"There is no doubt that work is changing and self-employment is the big winner. More than one in seven of the working population is now self-employed (over 1.2 million more than 10 years ago). This rise is driven by highly-skilled freelancers, particularly senior-level women.

"The internet has enabled people to be more confident pursuing ideas or dreams; either full time or alongside a traditional job.

"Numerous pieces of research show that nearly everyone who becomes self-employed does so for positive reasons. These microbusinesses are naturally innovative and creative, boosting the UK economy.

"Like any change this brings challenges for employers, who may be concerned that their employee is distracted by their side hustle. It requires careful management but there are huge advantages – the employee is likely to be happier and will develop skills that they can bring back into the workplace."

Kate Palmer, associate director of advisory at Peninsula, says:

"Having multiple jobs is likely to reflect the greater need for flexibility in modern lives – especially with Millennials focusing more on their personal commitments and wellbeing than their professional life. Technology, working patterns, and the ability to complete paid ‘gigs’ all help employees who wish to structure their working lives in a pattern that suits them. While you can submit a statutory flexible working request once you complete 26 weeks’ service, this is unlikely to allow individuals to switch on and off from work as they require. Having a number of jobs for specific hours over the working week provides this opportunity.

"Employers need to meet their working time responsibilities for each employee, which can be affected by the work being done for other businesses. Ask employees to let you know about other work so they can monitor weekly hours and rest periods. Also keep an eye on the employee’s wellbeing and watch out for signs of overwork or stress as this will need to be actioned, with additional support offered if this is the case."

Read the first part of this hot topic

This piece appeared in the June 2019 issue. Subscribe today to have all our latest articles delivered right to your desk

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