The new wave of flexible working: good news for working parents

Working mothers as freelancersWorking mothers as freelancers
Working mothers as freelancers
There is a new way of working which is gaining popularity in the UK, and it is great news for parents who want a credible and flexible career option.

This emerging movement is commonly known as the ‘gig economy’. Using online freelancing platforms like Jobstoday Freelance, companies of all sizes can outsource projects, or ‘gigs’, to highly skilled workers who work on them remotely. The gig economy is an ideal option for working parents because they can access opportunities that fit around their families.

The gig economy is growing rapidly. Data from Oxford University’s Online Labour Index shows the number of gigs in the UK has increased by 14% since May last year - highlighting that companies in the UK are embracing this new, flexible way of working.

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Jonny Dunning, digital recruitement expert and CEO of believes the growth of the gig economy is a result of small businesses seeing a huge opportunity.

Mothers working as freelancersMothers working as freelancers
Mothers working as freelancers

He said: “Small businesses in the UK now have a simple, flexible way of getting work done without having to afford to hire a full-time employee. This on-demand workforce is perfect for small businesses. It also suits the modern professional who is comfortable with other on-demand services like AirBnB which have now become commonplace in most areas of modern life.

“An on-demand workforce means a small business can tap into expertise just when they need it”.

According to IPSE, the UK body representing freelancers and contractors, there are now 1.9 million freelancers in the UK, and research from Forbes says this is predicted to continue to grow with one in two people in the UK freelancing by 2020. Despite the rapid growth, there are surprisingly low numbers of parents taking advantage of the gig economy. For example, in 2015 IPSE data shows there were around 287,000 freelancing mums, but that number seems low when you consider there are around 340,000 (source: House of Commons) professional women going on maternity leave each year.

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Mr Dunning said: “IPSE’s data shows us that only one in seven freelancers in the UK are mums. It is a great start but there are so many opportunities for more mums and dads who want to earn a decent living. If you look at Jobstoday Freelance, we have stay-at-home parents working remotely on projects ranging from mobile app development to accounting and social media management. They work around their family commitments and are earning decent rates of pay.”

The gig economy is suitable for any type of work that can be done remotely. For example, web development, writing, accountancy or marketing. All that is required to start is an email address, a computer and a reliable internet connection.

To see how you can combine parenting with a flexible career visit

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