Big interest in the freelance life from parents’s survey of contracting and freelancing, in conjunction with WMRecruit, shows a big interest from parents, but the conditions need to be right.

Woman freelancer on her laptop


Over two thirds of parents would consider freelancing or contracting with the main factors that might persuade them to take the plunge being higher earnings and the availability of more flexible childcare, according to a and WMRecruit survey.

The survey covered over 700 parents, most of them women, who are not currently freelancing or contracting, half of whom were looking to return to work after a period off work.

Only 8% said they would not consider freelancing or contracting and this was mainly due to insecurity [61%] and childcare inflexibility [49%] which ranked much higher than employment rights [27%].

freelancing contracting parents

Work Life Balance

The survey also included 346 parents who are currently contracting or freelancing, with only 26% saying they would move back to permanent work if they could. Work life balance was a key reason why they went down the freelance route [82% chose this], with 40% saying it offered them greater variety. Some 59% said the benefits outweighed the drawbacks. Of those who would move to permanent jobs 63% say this is because of lack of security and 42% because of a lack of employment rights. Just under half [47%] of current contractors/freelancers say that it took them less than a month to find their current work.

Comparing those who would consider contracting with those who are already doing it, the survey found:

  • Those contracting were mainly in marketing, advertising, PR, media and administration, working as marketing or PR officers, project managers, administrators/secretaries or digital marketeers, but the variety of freelancing roles was broad, extending from copywriting to auditing and teaching. Those considering contracting were most interested in administrative or project management roles in administration, the charity sector, customer services and HR.
  • 41% of current contractors charge a day rate. Of those who charge a day rate, 52% charge up to £250 per day, 36% charge between £251 and £500 per day, 11% charge between £500 and £750 per day and 1% charge over £750 per day. This compares with 50% of those who would consider contracting who would consider a day rate up to £250 and 32% who would want between £250 and £500 per day.
  • Most of those currently contracting work on ad hoc projects, with year-long contracts the next most popular option. Most worked part time and 64% said that their freelance/ contracting roles offer flexibility, including flexi hours or choice over projects and hours. The vast majority [59%] got their freelance work via referrals.

Over half [52%] of those surveyed have more than 10 years experience in their field and 44% have a university degree. Sixteen per cent have a higher qualification.

Mandy Garner, editor of, said: “At times of economic uncertainty we know that contracting and freelancing often expand so it is interesting to note what might make them more attractive to parents and what the experience is of current freelancers and contractors. Flexible working seems to be an important benefit, but it needs to be accompanied by greater flexibility in childcare as well as the right level of pay to compensate for greater insecurity and a lack of employment rights.”

WMRecruit connect professional candidates seeking contract roles. If you are currently contracting, or have an interest in contracting opportunities, get in touch today.

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