Different international organizations warn that the Spanish economy is slowing its growth rate and everything seems to indicate that this trend will continue in 2020. Autonomous people have been asked what they think about these statements and 85.55% agree that this year the economy will continue at a downward pace, compared with 7.37% who think they do not and 7.08% do not He knows or doesn't answer.

If we go down to detail and ask them about the activity of their own business today, almost 50%, specifically 49.26%, assures that it is going worse than in previous years; one in three (37.76%) the same as in previous years and only 12.68% said it was better.

For the majority of the self-employed whose activities have worsened (81.2%), the main cause is the decrease in the volume of the business. The following factors that have a negative impact on these companies, although to a much lesser extent, are: non-payments from customers, which have had a negative impact on 4.24% and the lack of access to credit for 2.42%.

In addition to drawing the current situation of the companies of the freelancers we wanted to know their expectations about them in the face of 2020 that has just begun. In this sense, for half of the self-employed, their business expectations are positive or at least stable. 40.2% say it will remain the same and 11.38% expect it to improve. It should be noted that the self-employed have already told us (question 2) that 37%, one in three, in 2019 has maintained the same economic activity as in previous years. For four out of ten freelancers, their situation will get worse in 2020 (42.73%); 5.69% do not know, or do not answer.

Autonomous and employment
The ATA Autonomous Work Barometer is also interested in knowing if the self-employed have salaried employees. 62.39% of the self-employed answered that they did have workers in their charge compared to 37.61% that they did not.

In 2019, of the self-employed who have a worker in their care, 52.86% of the self-employed did not make any type of contract compared to 46.19% who did have the need to hire for their activity.

Going deeper into this question, asked if in the coming months they would have to do without an employee, 48.24% state that they will not do so, compared to one in three (32.81%) who affirm that they may have to fire someone employee.

Continuing with the expectations of hiring for 2020 are not very encouraging: only 11.61%, that is, one in ten, expects to contract against almost 80% (79.76%) that does not.

Asked about the reasons why they do not intend to add new workers to their companies in the short / medium term, the self-employed have responded that the current socioeconomic situation is the main cause for 54.31%. For almost 25%, (24.34%) it is due to economic problems that your business is going through, so you cannot hire other people and for 14.98% your activity does not require it.

Financing is no longer a problem for most freelancers
Access to credit is a capital issue for the autonomous group. In the ATA Autonomous Work Barometer we have asked if in 2019 they have approached any financial institution to request financing. In this regard, it is worth noting that two out of every three self-employed people asked (67.17%) have not addressed any financial institution compared to 32.53% who have needed it.

As for the response obtained by the financial institution, 59.46% did not have any difficulty in granting the loan and obtained the required amount and 21.62% has been awarded but in a smaller amount. That is, 80% of the self-employed who came in 2019 to request financing were granted. For 5.41% of self-employed workers, their petition is being studied. On the other side of the coin are those in which the operation was denied (13.51%).

Late payment: 4 out of 10 freelancers suffer
Late payment, both public and private, is one of the most important difficulties that many freelancers face. We have consulted the self-employed if they have suffered delays in the collection of their invoices (understanding this delay for 60 days or more). 56.84% have not been affected by late payment compared to 39.21% who have suffered.

Of that 40% that the pain of delinquency continues to suffer, 20% take more than 6 months to collect the bills for the work done and 43% receive payment for these jobs in a period of between 3 and 6 months. 5.34% take more than a year to collect your bills.

Legislative news
In 2017 and 2018, important laws were passed for the group of self-employed workers: Law of Urgent Reforms of Autonomous Labor and Royal Decree Law 28/2018 for the revaluation of public pensions and other urgent measures in social, labor and social matters. employment, respectively. We have asked the self-employed if they know the improvements that have been put in place after their entry into force. 61.04% of the group has heard that the measures for freelancers were approved, but ensures that they do not know them in depth; 22.09%, one in five, states that they have read them in the press and know them and 16.87% completely ignore them.

Regarding the utility or not of the measures mentioned above, 70% of the self-employed approve them. Faced with these positive perceptions, 15.76% consider them not useful and 19.56% unhelpful.

Breaking down initiative by initiative contained in the aforementioned laws, we wanted to find out the degree of importance that each of them has for the autonomous. It stands out for its good consideration to pay a fee for the actual days worked (48.33% consider it very useful) and be exempt from paying the fee during the period of maternity or paternity (44.15% considers them very useful).

The improvement in the cessation of activity resulted in a doubling of the period of their perception. In this regard, for more than 75% it seems useful, compared to 6.51% who believe that it is not useful and 17, 47% consider it unhelpful.

The exemption from paying the Social Security fee from the 61st day of being discharged is considered very useful for 31.46% of the self-employed; useful for 25.50%; something useful for 16.89%; little for 18.21% and nothing for 7.95%.

The Social Security contribution by the self-employed since the effective day of discharge is valued as very useful for almost 50% of the group (48.33%); useful for 23%; something useful for 15.33%. In contrast to these positive considerations, 5.67% state that this measure is nothing valuable and 7.67% reiterate that it is of little use.

For 38.33% of the self-employed, the fact that they can change the contribution base up to four times in the same year is considered very useful. In a positive way, 22.33% and 25% are also considered useful. On the opposite side, 15% think it is of little use.

One of the demands most demanded by the group of self-employed workers was the exemption of the Social Security quota during the period of maternity or paternity leave. In this sense, for more than 80% of respondents, this measure is useful or very useful, compared to 13.71% who consider it to be nothing or of little use.

Training is a capital aspect for self-employed workers. So much so that for 87.34% it is useful or very useful compared to 12.66% that does not give it so much importance and considers them unhelpful.

The extension of the flat rate, so necessary to help consolidate the businesses that have just started, is not considered a good measure by 36.09% of the self-employed and a useful or very useful measure by 2 out of every three self-employed (63 , 91%).

Corporate self-employed and net returns
With regard to corporate freelancers (45% of respondents) in the Autonomous Labor barometer, they are asked that, if the Social Security quota were a deductible expense of the company and not an autonomous expense, they would be willing to increase your contribution base or not. For 65.47% the answer is affirmative, compared with 20.86% that would not increase its price and 13.67% do not know how to answer.

The adequacy of the contribution base to the net returns is a measure that is on the political agenda. Asked about this matter if they agree or not, the freelancers are divided. 45.18% are favorable compared to 43.89% who do not and 10.92% who do not know or do not answer.

Taxes and SMI
When choosing the tax decrease, one third of the self-employed (32.45%) are inclined to reduce the Social Security quota; 31.46% for doing so in personal income tax; 29.8% choose VAT and 6.29% do not know or answer.

The rise in the minimum wage worries the self-employed with employees. 64.67% of respondents disagree with the increase compared to 19% in favor. 13.33% do not know or do not answer.

Going deeper into this issue, it has been asked that, if another minimum wage increase is approved in 2020, how it would affect your business. Seven out of ten freelancers believe that something would hurt them (69.1%), of which 22.26% said it would affect them a lot, 31.89% would hurt a lot and 14.95 that would affect them somewhat. Against these valuations, for 17.28% it would not affect anything.

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