Welcome! If you’re an independent worker, Howbox is for you.

Today there are about 5 million self-employed people in the UK, over a million agency workers, countless freelancers, contractors, and gig workers in every walk of life, and plenty more setting up businesses and side hustles.

We want to help independent workers take more control of their working lives.

We know that at its worst, independent work can be a bit of a nightmare. It’s hard to work out which tools and services to use, what’s good value, or what your rights are. It’s easy to feel powerless over what you earn, when you get paid, and when and where you work, not to mention holidays, sick pay, pensions, and maternity or paternity pay.

At its best though, independent work can be a dream: you can earn more and do work you’re proud of and believe in. You might even find your best path through life.

Our articles will introduce you to tools, tips, and tactics, rights, campaigns and ways to organise.

On ‘Ask,’ our forum, you can ask questions, learn from others’ experience and show off your expertise. We want it to be a place where you can discover social enterprises and campaigns that can help, as well as products and services too.

For now we’re focusing on temps and freelancers in England and Wales, but in time we plan to have more information here for other independent workers, and work in other media.

We hope Howbox helps you, and grows into a community of independent workers who look out for one another.

You can read more on our FAQs.

If you want to keep in touch with our progress and get our best articles and answers straight to your inbox, sign up here.


Launched Jan 1st 2018



Howbox in the News



We joined Radio 4’s Moneybox programme to talk about how illegally unpaid interns can reclaim backpay. You can listen or download here, from about 15 minutes in.


The Daily Telegraph quoted us for their article about unpaid internships claiming backpay for internships they did up to 6 years ago. It also featured former intern Chris Jarvis, who wrote on Howbox about how he got paid backpay worth £4,600 for an unpaid internship here.

If you want to check whether an unpaid internship was illegal, check out our article here.



We were in the Mirror talking about why unpaid trial shifts are really not OK any more and what to do if you’re asked to work for free.

Our complete guide on what to do if you’re asked to work for free ‘as a trial’ is here.


Check out this piece we wrote on ecnmy.org about why we started Howbox.

We were RT’d by Everton and Twitter legend Neville Southall!