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Are you a dog walker/nurse/soap maker, managing several different jobs? A growing number of people are doing more than one job…
Reports in the media earlier this week cited an IPSE report from March which showed growing numbers of people have more than one job.The IPSE research showed 320,000 people ‘have a second self-employed job’. Some call this a side hustle; others refer to it as the portfolio career; the BBC picked up on a fairly new term, slashies ie ‘I am a dog walker/nurse/soap maker.
I’ve been doing more than one job for years and there are pluses and minuses. The pluses are clear: you can be more flexible if you do more jobs, especially if some of them are self employed. This gets around the problem of inflexible full-time jobs. Depending on the mix of different jobs you can earn more than in one full-time less flexible job, but in my experience it is more likely that you earn less and I haven’t even begun to calculate the hidden costs such as the impact on pensions. Also with self employed jobs you have no employment rights, including holiday or time off for sickness. You have to keep going no matter what. This might be okay if you are in a profession that is well paid. Earning slightly less or even quite a bit less doesn’t have the same impact as if you are working all hours, doing six jobs just to pay the rent.
Another plus is not putting all your eggs in one basket. I left my last full-time job after issues with management [the company had been taken over by a private equity firm with all that that entails…]. It was very unpleasant. Suffice to say that that experience has stayed with me. Trust is a two-way street and if anything remotely similar happened again I would be the first person to the exit. It saves time and stress.
Another pro is that a side hustle allows people to keep earning while they build up their business so it is less risky. In this scenario it’s a hopeful path towards full-time self-employment.
One of the downsides is that HMRC doesn’t seem to have caught up totally with the whole slashie thing. Advice on benefits and things like maternity pay can be a bit variable – you sometimes get different answers to the same question depending on who you speak to. Part of this is to do with the speed at which the slashie lifestyle has crept up on us, with technology being a big enabler.
The law is even further behind. There are several anomalies. For instance, you can get two lots of SMP if you do two employed jobs that meet the earnings threshold, but if you do two jobs and one meets the earnings threshold for SMP and the other doesn’t so you get Maternity Allowance you only get the SMP. The second job counts for nothing. Similarly, if you do two jobs that only qualify for MA you only get one lot of MA.
Then there is the name. Slashie? Really? It sounds a bit like a cross between one of those sugary neon drinks and a horror movie, but in my view it is a lot better than the portfolio career which sounds really dull and is a bit of a mouthful and side hustle, which sounds slightly louche. There’s got to be something more exciting. I’ve consulted the kids and they have suggested overworker. I’m not sure it has the kind of upbeat ring that I had in mind. All ideas welcome.
*Picture credit: Suzanne Nilsson photo of Dachshund Flickr on Wikimedia commons.