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It depends on your industry. In cheffladding, self-employed is the way to go, as there is ALWAYS work for you, multiple extremely established agencies who you know are dependable, and due to the nature of the job you can pretty much wander into a new workplace or environment every other day and still know what you're doing. It would basically be impossible for a semi-skilled chef near a large urban area to run out of work.
Your industry might be very different. As already said, you're looking after yourself from then on out, and it's hard to quantify just how useful holidays and sick pay can end up being. If the extra money you'd be getting as a contractor isn't much more than, say, six weeks extra pay, then a holiday off work and a bit of illness could see that extra money wiped out anyway.