The main issue faced by self-employed people related to delayed payments or non-payments by clients, according to a new study published by the National Statistics Office (NSO).
16.4 per cent said that late or non-payments were their main problem, followed by lack of income in case of sickness (11.9 per cent) and periods of financial hardship (10.3 per cent).
The highest share of own account workers chose not to have employees due to the market conditions in which they operate, including insufficient amount of work (44.1 per cent). A further 40.6 per cent preferred to work on their own or did not want to expand their business.
Despite any difficulties related to being self-employed, the majority of self-employed people in Malta said that they were largely satisfied with their job (75 per cent). A Eurostat survey published in December showed that this was higher than the EU average.
Furthermore, when asked about future plans related to hiring employees, nearly 23 per cent of the self-employed were considering hiring more workers on a permanent or temporary basis or making use of subcontractors.
In 2017, when the Labour Force Survey which produced these results was carried out, self-employed persons in Malta were estimated at 33,648 of which 22,814 did not have any employees.
The majority of self-employed worked mostly as service and sales workers (26.7 per cent), craft and related trade workers (22.5 per cent) and managers (14.6 per cent).