Self-employed workers have many advantages, but employer-paid sick time isn’t one of them. Not to mention, when you work for yourself, you may be tempted to try to work through an illness or injury because you feel guilty taking time off. The financial implications of unplanned sick leave can be significant, especially if you’re working against a deadline. But sometimes, you just need to take a day off to recover, or to care for a loved one who needs help. So, as a self-employed worker, you can try to plan ahead so that you’re able to take unexpected time off when it’s needed.
Prepare for the financial implications
When you’re self-employed, you don’t get paid if you’re not working. This often leads to people working when they really should be resting. The only way to really be prepared financially for sick days is to set aside funds to cover your expenses when you have to take time off. Consider setting aside money each month that goes into a fund that you only touch in case of an emergency where you can’t work.
Be transparent with your clients
When you’re sick, you may be tempted to try to catch up with your work before your clients know you’ve taken time off. Not only does this put a lot of pressure on you to work when you should be resting, but it can also cause you to rush through a project to try to meet a deadline. Most clients, especially those you’ve worked with before, will understand if you need to extend a deadline.
Take advantage of self-employment benefits
As a self-employed person, you have the option to buy disability insurance. If it’s within your budget, this can be very helpful if you have an extended injury or illness. It’s also beneficial to be aware of any tax deductions allowed to those who are self-employed. You may be able to deduct expenses related to healthcare, especially costs that you pay out of pocket.
When you’re self-employed, you may feel like you can never take time off. But if you get sick or suffer an injury, taking time to rest can help you recover more quickly. Prepare for unexpected time off by setting aside money to cover your expenses when you can’t work. Let your clients know what’s going on if you’re not able to work and be sure to take advantage of any benefits offered to self-employed workers.