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Self Employment
#1
Has anyone read the article in this edition of The Archaeologist? 'Self Employment: the case for independant archaeologists'. It says that "self employment may present a solution to some of the challenges presented by a career in archaeological fieldwork". It then points out that skilled workers leave the job for better paid employment leaving an "imbalanced profile" in the job between tiros and old lags and male and female (more likely to leave by 30).

The case is made that people with families, multiple careers and archaelogists wanting new challenges would find it gives greater flexibility against the constraints of "unit-based models of work".

It ends with: "By liberalising employment arrangements, it is possible that the archaeological world can achieve greater diversity and persue the path that leads to improved professional and working practices for the benefit of all practitioners".

More and more job ads are coming up looking for self-employed diggers. Is this a good thing? Will it bring benefits to all practitioners?

I'm self-employed but in a specialist role. Would this be good for diggers?
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#2
Only if you have a real idea of costing worth and responsibility... you can be a labour only self employed... but need to have your tax sorted (yes... TAX!!!! ) if you don't do it, then down the line you will be in real trouble... you also get NO holidays... NO sickness NO pension etc... so you have to charge out a a much higher rate... ie... 100 quid plus. of course it is up to the individual, but BAJR talks to people who place self employed adverts and makes them aware that to get an dvert on BAJR the minimum still apply... OR no advert.

Its hard work, and also it is invoice and having money to be able to support yourself ... It is very rewarding, but also needs thought. Yes a digger can, but care has to be taken to ensure you are a) not ending up paid less than if you were employed and b) you know your responsibilities. ! Does it solve the problem... pah!!! not t all... a very naive concept. and I would guess this is not written by a self employed field archaeologist ?? :face-huh:
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#3
BAJR Wrote:Only if you have a real idea of costing worth and responsibility... you can be a labour only self employed... but need to have your tax sorted (yes... TAX!!!! ) if you don't do it, then down the line you will be in real trouble... you also get NO holidays... NO sickness NO pension etc... so you have to charge out a a much higher rate... ie... 100 quid plus. of course it is up to the individual, but BAJR talks to people who place self employed adverts and makes them aware that to get an dvert on BAJR the minimum still apply... OR no advert.

Its hard work, and also it is invoice and having money to be able to support yourself ... It is very rewarding, but also needs thought. Yes a digger can, but care has to be taken to ensure you are a) not ending up paid less than if you were employed and b) you know your responsibilities. ! Does it solve the problem... pah!!! not t all... a very naive concept. and I would guess this is not written by a self employed field archaeologist ?? :face-huh:

All these points are valid. I'm not digging anymore but have seen adverts for firms wanting S-E diggers. I would think very carefully before going down that road. It looks more like all the advantages are with the employer here and the digger has his/her arse hanging out to the wind. As an ex old lag it may be that some older and part-time diggers may see this as a better opportunity to choose some temporary work that is local rather than the problems associated with joining a unit on contract and being sent hither and thither. But that presumes a fully employed partner or private/other income the rest of the time. S-E is no where near an answer to most diggers problems in my opinion.
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#4
BAJR Wrote:I would guess this is not written by a self employed field archaeologist ?? :face-huh:

Its written by Gerry Martin, who I believe is self-employed, and also subcontracts self-employed diggers to work on his sites. Never worked for him myself mind.

I believe the article was initiated by the Ifa working party on self-employment in order to stimulate debate. I guess I should declare an association with the working group, although I couldn't make the meeting.

The most interesting part of the article to me (as a now ex-freelancer who is still concerned with what's happening regarding self-employment in archaeology) is the introductory paragraph (possibly not written by Gerry?) that says:

'...As part of that guidance, the working group seeks to distinguish between legitimate self-employment and the use of supposedly self-employed staff by organisations to avoid their legal obligations as employers....'

There is also mention of the TA63 article on self-employed day rates for specialists that worked out a rate of approximately ?200 a day to maintain a Mifa level income (and this was several years ago).

These two points are of great importance and hopefully will be further addressed by the working group.

Personally I found freelancing rejuvenating and tiring in equal measures, and wouldn't recommend it to anyone who is not already a skilled practitioner. I don't personally see it as a viable alternative model for all, certainly not at entry level, and certainly not the way it is being used by some organisations at the moment. I do see it as an alternative for some, especially specialists (even if they are 'strat' specialists like myself).

To me, this is the Ifa doing what it should be doing. I would hope that there could be further articles or viewpoints on all the issues surrounding self-employment in archaeology in order that we can get a true idea of the range and scale of the sector, and the issues affecting freelancers.
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#5
200 quid a day ! if only................ again IfA have no grasp of the reality of commercial fieldwork...300 quid a week is roughly the goin rate for diggers and a well known employer(spposedly one of the better operators) up the rate by around twelve quid a week for supervisors and all the extra this entails................... personally I cannot see this improving for years ........we are doomed to stay as low income prospectless field staff for ever.....unless things change !....but they just aint...getting worse by the week and this is not only personal opinion but encompasses diggers and field staff country wide. DESPITE BAJR recommended GRADES AND ALL HOSTY TRIES TO IMPLEMENT . THE EMPLOYERS CONTINUE TO STUFF US ALL WAYS >>>>>>AND ALWAYS WILL... .CAPITALISM RULES ONCE AGAIN !!!! ps good luck to any who try SE but be careful 'tis a cut throat world out there ....................
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#6
I've worked as self employed numerous times ( including for Gerry Martin ) and i'd much prefer to work self employed than PAYE. Given the short term contracts handed out by most Archaeology companies holiday and pension entitlement are pretty meaningless anyway. As for the daily rate it's typically ?100 for an experienced digger but i've noticed that some of the adverts leave it up to the individual to ''name their rate'' ..... which means that the company ends up with the cheapest workforce possible.
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#7
But at ?100 a day or less, surely you just aren't making enough money to compensate for the loss of PAYE, as BAJR says above. Do you have your own PI insurance, Mike T? Plus there is the point that a lot of self employment appears to be sham self employment, as defined by HMRC. I'm not knocking the principle of SE, I just think that at some rates and conditions, it has more advantages for the employer than for the employed. Its certianly the choice of the individual though.
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#8
Yes, I had my own PI, apart from on the last job where I worked as Self Employed but the insurance was paid for by the employer. ?100 a day is cheap, especially when you have to consider the cost of accomodation and running a car. Works out at c ?20,000 pa. But then the average diggers pay on PAYE is about ?5,000 pa less than that isn't it ?

The major advantage of being Self Employed is the amount of your tax bill you can write off as expenses, which leaves more money in your pocket at the end of the day and outweighed the disadvantage of losing money if I wanted a week off or spent a couple days ill.

Of couse both Self Employed rates and PAYE rates need to be standardised.
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#9
Did having free insurance provided to you by your employer count as a taxable benefit? 20K a year sounds pretty good, I have to admit, but not if you have to pay for accommodation out of that.
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#10
No, after you take out accomodation costs it's not great money. Not sure if the PI is considered a taxable benefit. I hope not !
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