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Summer holidays – is it a good or bad time for contractors?

10th August 2017

Article written by:

Chris from iContract

There is much debate concerning the summer holiday’s impact on industry activity within professional sectors such as finance and IT. With the majority of UK workers taking extended breaks during the summer months, this period is largely considered to be a quiet time for UK businesses and in particular UK contractors, who also see it as a time to regroup and recharge before their return to work in early to mid September.

However, activity experienced last month offers a different argument with 61.1 being announced as the index score of IT contractor demand in July, just slightly behind the 6.9 score that was registered back in May.

So are the summer holidays right to be regarded as a slow working period, or is there room to suggest this time holds a lot of potential for contractors to keep busy?

The key decision makers away

It’s considered that the main reason behind the summer months being a slow period for all is that key decision makers are away. This is everything from talent hirers to managers in certain departments. You’ll find with this that nothing much really gets done , decisions are delayed and things generally calm down in an organisation. Work places almost go into a state of slumber or hibernation and generally just breeze along in the weeks leading up to autumn. If anything, this time is a chance for contractors to keep their ear to the ground of who might be hiring in the coming months.

Is there demand to keep up the slack in summer?

The summer months are a popular choice of time for everyone, not just decision makers or people higher up in a work hierarchy. Could this lead to a build up in work for organisations due to people on holiday, putting demand on this work to be covered somehow? With so many employees taking time off, do companies who are particularly busy in the summer months, need to hire in temporary talent to plug the gap and help pick up the slack in an organisation?

A long hot summer or a winter of hibernation?

The summer holidays are never a popular time to work full stop. Whilst your stuck in the office, others will be out enjoying the sunshine and other warmer climates. Most contractors or professional workers in general will want to get a slice of this summer action and take as much time as they possibly can and not face the four walls of an office.

There are others who could be quite the opposite and may want to take advantage of the potential demand there could be due to the shortage of talent in the summer months. The prospect of working through a long and bitter winter may seem less appealing to working through a long hot summer. Is there then a large community of contractors who would sacrifice their summer for a winter where they can take a break from work?

Uncertain times

2017 has certainly been a mixed bag for contractors. With the industry still feeling the aftermath of Brexit in both positive and negative ways, the recent election results in early June made for further instability. Certain industries such as finance are still having to deal with these changes caused by the UK politics scene and this is continuing into the summer months. Could this be a short-term golden age for contractors that hasn’t allowed time for summer breaks?


No sign of a summer slowdown here at iContract, with over 400 live jobs currently on the site in finance, legal and tech. Register your profile for free today and find your next contract on the new online platform connecting contractors with recruiters.