Need some time off?  How to plan ahead

Need some time off?  How to plan ahead

Nov 14, 2018

Working as a contractor has many benefits including freedom and flexibility over the work you choose to do and the hours you’re available for.  However, one of the main downsides is that if you don’t work, you don’t earn, which can mean you become reluctant to turn work away and take time off. 

Given the fact that we all need a break from time to time, and with Christmas just around the corner, it makes sense to plan some time off.  Hopefully, with a bit of forethought you will be able to enjoy some downtime with your friends and family over the festive period, and be in a position to plan more breaks for 2019.

Tip #1: Plan ahead

Decide what length of time you want to take off work and what gap that will leave in your finances. You can then determine what income you’ll need to cover your bills and expenses while you take a holiday.  Try to be disciplined and set aside this money in advance, bit by bit each month, so you can take a break without needing to worry about paying the bills.

Tip #2: Increase your earnings in advance

Another option is to see if you can take on extra work in the weeks leading up to your planned holiday to cover some or all or some of the earnings you would have enjoyed if you hadn’t taken break.  This may mean working extra hours or, if you’re a shift worker, doing some unsociable hours when the rate of pay is likely to be higher.  Plan in advance and talk to your employer about potential options.

Tip #3: Enlist additional support

If you’re a limited company contractor, working through your own Personal Service Company (PSC), it is likely that you are allowed to sub-contract your work to another person. Of course, this is a matter for consideration between you and the organisation you’re working for (check your contract!) You will need to think carefully about your arrangements, but it may be possible to send someone else in your place to fulfil your contract while making sure there is sufficient margin in the earnings for you to be in receipt of at least some income while you’re away.

Arranging time off

Most contractors will take time off in between contracts but if you need to take time off while you’re in a contracting role (for an emergency, or if you become ill, for example) you will need to check what your client will allow you to do.  This is usually detailed in your contract, but not always easy to understand!  Our contracting specialists will be pleased to help – get in touch on 01244 684700.

Holiday pay – a benefit of Umbrella employment

While your take-home pay is likely to be higher as a limited company contractor, Umbrella contracting does have its advantages, particularly where holiday pay is concerned.  As an Umbrella employee you will be able to accrue holiday pay, just like a regular employee.  If you would like to find out more about our Umbrella solution, please get in touch on 01244 684700.

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