# 48 (2013) Rat Race
It’s official. I have rejoined the legions who spend their lives wishing their week days away and dread the onset of Monday mornings. Yes, after 4 years I am an office monkey again. And it’s every bit as bad as I remember it.
I stuff envelopes with bits of paper I have stapled together and tick boxes in databases for 37 hours a week. 5pm cannot come quick enough. But at least weekends have special recognition again. Kind of.
It was the situation I dreaded because it now means my business is back on hold. There is no time to work on commissions. Weekends are spent trying to catch up with general jobs I can’t do during the week.
I’m not going to pretend that being back in work is lucrative. I am temping. Therefore work is sporadic and badly paid. I am only able to take these jobs because I am currently under the personal tax allowance. It means I am not taxed for this work and as I already pay my own NI’s through my business I should receive 100% of my paycheck. And all the time I remain under this threshold I can keep on taking these jobs.
It is only now I see the Government’s cunning plan behind raising this threshold on a yearly basis. To boost employment numbers, minimise outlay for businesses trying to survive through the recession and improve employment statistics by making it possible for many people to accept jobs they previously wouldn’t have considered.
How this will get us out of recession and into recovery I’m not entirely sure. It certainly keeps everyone teetering on the edge of financial survival. Businesses can just about employee enough people to remain functional and workers can afford to take jobs and get off benefits provided they keep their earnings under the limit.
If I was doing my current job full time on the hourly rate I’m getting now, I’d be bringing in less than £1000 per month before tax, so that’s about £640 on a basic rate including NI contributions. And for a 37 hour week that’s pretty insulting by anyone’s standards. Thankfully (depending on how you look at it) I didn’t have to think twice before accepting the position on a temporary contract because I will get the rate before tax.
If I only ever earn this rate, I have to average a 28 hour working week throughout the year to stay under the threshold. Thankfully though, because I am on a temporary contract, I know it’s not going to last forever.
Being ‘in it together’ really does suck for some of us.