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Nearly half (48%) of freelancers have missed personal bills like rent or mortgage and utilities as a result of late payments, according to freelance marketplace, Upwork.

The study found that 81% of UK freelancers said they had been paid late for work completed. And three quarters said they had even never been paid for some work.

In addition to missing personal bills, a quarter of those surveyed said they struggled to pay for a weekly food shop as a result of late payments, and were forced to borrow money from family or friends.

The average freelancer spend 30 hours a year chasing late payments, with 32% chasing payments of more than £1,000.

“UK businesses are increasingly relying on freelance talent, but company’s payment terms haven’t caught up with this shift yet,” said Rich Pearson, SVP of international at Upwork.