When you are your own boss, calling in sick isn’t quite as easy as you’d think.
When you have a full-time job, you can take a sick day safe in the knowledge that your co-workers will pick up the slack while you’re away. You can simply put your feet up and absorb some daytime TV with a bottle of Beechams and a pack of tissues by your side. If your company offers sick pay, you don’t even need to worry about losing out on any money as your sick day will be covered. For freelancers, the process is far more complicated.
For starters, you probably carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, so the chances of you being able to admit that you’re unwell are pretty low. And even if you can admit you are sick, the thought of taking a day off will fill you with dread. With no one to fall back on, taking a sick day as a freelancer can feel impossible, so it’s important that you are prepared for any eventuality. Your clients will appreciate your forward-planning, and your body will thank you for giving it a chance to get back to health. Here are the essential steps for planning for a sick day…
As a freelancer, delegating will probably sound like a very foreign phrase, but it will become an essential part of sick day preparations. On the day you fall ill, you will need to divide up your to-do list into things that can be delayed until you are better and things that cannot wait. Anything that cannot wait will need to be delegated to someone else, so you’ll need to be prepared and able to do this.
In order to be able to delegate tasks, you’ll need to have someone you trust you can call at a moment’s notice. By growing your network you can develop mutual relationships between freelancers and offer to provide sickness cover for each other. For this to be successful, you’ll need to set ground rules, establish rates and ensure no one tries to poach your clients whilst you’re unwell.
Letting your clients know you’ll be taking a sick day is a lot better than getting back to them the next day and apologising for your late response. When you’re battling a cold or the flu, the last thing you want to do is compose an email to a client, so having these templates ready to go takes the pressure off. You can also prepare templates for your handover so that you don’t have to stress about gathering things like account passwords or project requirements when you’re struggling with a fever.
Freelancer insurance such as personal accident and sickness insurance can help to ease the pressure of having to take time off due to illness. While a couple of days off work to recover from a cold can be inconvenient but manageable, if you have a long-term illness or are injured, then you may be unable to work for much longer. This can have a devastating impact on your career and can leave you unable to meet your financial commitments. Personal accident and sickness insurance show your clients that you are serious about your business, but it also provides essential cover to ensure you are never left to make ends meet on statutory sick pay.
If you’re interested in speaking to our team about your options for freelancer insurance or personal accident and sickness insurance, you can call us on 0333 321 140 or click the link below to get a quote.