High Skilled Freelancers

Message for Government

Respondents were invited to share their suggestions for how the government could better support independent professionals in the project economy. Here are some of their comments.

“I think it comes down to an educational piece. A lot of clients aren't overly familiar with contracting and when it's researched by themselves, it seems like a heavy burden to start. I think we are heading for an IT skills shortage so maybe the government could support businesses by educating them on IT contractors & loosening the restraints around working from abroad for contractors.”
“Self-employed are not appreciated whatsoever, we create the jobs and put up with huge amount of grief. Ireland is incentivising people to be employees and not leaders, this is a catastrophic error and will lead to a poorer Ireland in the future.”
“We live in a world with 21st century technology but the laws and economy is based on 19th century rules, laws and mindset. This is a huge barrier and deterrent to get more people investing on their own ideas and projects, commit to innovation, create jobs and boost the economy. Re; the government, as a highly educated workforce in a digital world independent contractors should be pushed as a sector that would allow Irish people to obtain more work from overseas companies while remaining in Ireland and spending our earnings here.”
“I think the contracting space could scale so much more with more information and media coverage on the benefits of contracting, especially with talent who need visas to work in Ireland.”
“The Government does not fully value contractors in this country. More needs to be done to make things more attractive for contractors, from an expenses perspective etc. People are extremely thin on the ground at the moment, so things need to change, and quickly.”
“They are a flexible and important part of the workforce and I don’t think its recognised how important it is to have a contractors market to give competitive edge.”
“More information about the benefits of contractors is to be shared with companies.”
“I think the temporary model should be promoted in the Irish economy. With high levels of employment and a shortage of skilled professionals in the Irish market we need to look at alternative options.”
“I believe some companies are unaware of how contracting works and the benefits it can have for their organisation - there needs to be more engagement with companies on a national scale as to show how contracting will work for them.”
“The world of work has changed. A more fluid approach to freelance working is needed. There is a huge disparity in regards to welfare available to employees and freelancers.”
“The biggest objection we have at job offer stage is Mortgage Application. The government should try harder to influence the lenders that contracting does not equal instability or risk.”
“When the market slows down cost is always the first thing that is looked at, and as such, permanent headcount has to decrease. Contractors offer a great interim solution in these instances.”
“My issue with the jobs market is just one thing, ageism.”
“Increase the incentive (tax-wise) for contracting work.”
“I believe the government can tax the worker less to improve the quality of life. Companies need to stop thinking of employees as just numbers and understanding that they are not assets, they are people. I am looking to become a contractor as well as self-employed so I don't depend on companies and jobs in the future.”
“Allow for travel expenses from home to office. Make it easier to claim for working from home and increase allowance.”
“The Government should set up a department to both encourage and assist Contractors as they are contributing greatly to our economy. Given the nature of the business of contracting I believe greater assistance should be given in Tax credits particularly when it comes to expenses. One of the key attractions of FDI is that we have a flexible contracting workforce, and as major projects usually take a minimum of two years there should be greater tax breaks for our contracting workforce. Such tax breaks will also attract even more highly skilled people into contracting.”
“Retired people represent a valuable skill base / resource unutilised in the economy. Their pension often brings them into the top tax rate for marginal income which acts as a disincentive to work. An additional Tax credit for retired people contributing to the economy through work might encourage more retired people to work part time.”
“I completed contract/project work at end of last year having worked in this area since 2021. Really keen to take up further contracts however difficult to get opportunity details. Suggest a reference listing. My contract was direct approach from financial institution.”
“The prevailing cultural mindset in Ireland poses challenges for self-employed individuals. As a foreigner in this country, securing professional opportunities requires not only strong referrals but also a notable Irish track record. This stringent criterion often leads companies to overlook valuable business prospects, neglecting the potential of hiring skilled professionals because they lack Irish experience. Despite my extensive contributions to business development in various countries, I am hindered in sharing my wealth of knowledge and experience in Ireland due to the lack of sufficient local experience. Like numerous highly skilled individuals, I am contemplating a move from Ireland as the current system appears closed to foreigners. It is essential for the Irish community to reconsider this mindset, as many talented professionals are choosing to emigrate due to the restrictive nature of the current Irish conception.”
“Some people are reluctant to contract as a professional due to job security, fear of unknown etc. Having worked on both sides (permanent and contractor). It is important to stress how easy it is to transition between either roles.”
“Provide greater support in relation to sick leave, redundancy support etc especially to contractors earning at the lower end of the scale.”
“From a government point of view - a lot of work has been done over the years to assist the self - employed - but alot more help is required”
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