I’m a contractor: how can I get ready for the end of lockdown?
Towards the end of February, Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out England’s roadmap out of lockdown, with the other UK nations following suit soon after. For England, the aim is for all social distancing measures to be over by 21st June, providing a variety of targets are kept to. At the moment, things are looking hopeful, with the UK’s vaccine roll-out proving to be a success – more than 20.7 million first doses administered at the time of writing, plus 895,412 second doses – and bolstered by the news that a single dose of either the Pfizer or Oxford vaccine cuts the risk of hospital admission by more than 80% in the over-80s. If we continue like this, the roadmap looks doable.
The news has understandably got people excited about the potential of seeing loved ones again and being able to eat out, go to the pub, and attend events (not to mention children returning to school), just like we used to before coronavirus made its unwelcome appearance in the world. It also raises the prospect of our work-lives returning to normal with debates now raging around re-opening offices, whether or not to keep people working from home, and kick-starting the economy. This is, of course, great news for everyone, not least contractors, many of whom have seen work dramatically disappear every time restrictions have tightened over the last year. While things have improved for some over the last few months, other contractors haven’t seen work in almost a year. But with the end in sight and confidence growing, how should contractors best prepare for the end of lockdown? We have some ideas…
Contact old clients
We’re hopeful that having a provisional end-date in sight, with restrictions gradually easing along the way, work will continue to pick up for you. With that in mind, now is a good time to contact old clients who may be starting to look at their various projects again. Drop them an email or, better yet, give them a call to let them know you’re available and ready for work. You might just put yourself at the front of their queue.
While we appreciate that your 2020 diary was probably one of your most useless purchases of all time and is now buried at the bottom of a drawer or has long since met its maker, there is definitely something of 2021 to be salvaged. So grab that 2021 diary, wall calendar, desk organiser or whatever it is you use (they’ll probably all be on sale at this point in the year too) and start to organise yourself. That possibly means a tidy-up of the home office space too.
Open a savings account
If 2020 has taught us anything (besides how to make banana bread) it’s that we should be prepared for the unexpected. So, if you don’t have one already, open a savings account. Once you’re back to working as normal again, put a portion of your pay away as soon as you receive it, and make this your emergency fund. The overall aim is to have a few months worth of income in there to support you should you ever lose earnings again for whatever reason.
Get away from it all
You might not be able to get abroad for the time being, but after 12th April you’ll be able to enjoy self-catering holidays in England at the very least. You and your family deserve a break after everything you’ve been through this year, so get some time off in your diary and book a holiday cottage or Airbnb. You don’t even have to go too far, just a change from the same four walls will do you good and will get you refreshed and ready for the return to work.
Get your insurance set up
We know a lot of you let your insurance lapse over the last year while work was not forthcoming, so now is the time to dig out your documents and check if you’ve currently got business insurance. If you don’t, or it’s due for renewal soon, you’ll want to make sure you have cover in place so that you’re set up and ready to sign those new contracts. To keep things simple, take a look at Kingsbridge’s contractor insurance package. It includes the basics of professional indemnity and public liability cover that most end clients and recruiters require, but also occupational personal accident cover, employers’ liability insurance, and directors’ and officers’ liability cover. This leaves you protected against even the unexpected, and getting it set up now means you can tell clients you’re ready to work.
Get a quote online or call us on 01242 808740 for more information. We’ll be right here planning what to do once 21st June arrives.