I freelance for agencies; the accounts department love me as I'm not as expensive as a full time member of staff, account handlers think I'm great because all my time is billable to the client, the creative director thinks I'm amazing because I can follow a brief and realise their vision, the client loves the fact I'm just working on one project… theirs.
You're cheaper the full time staff member? How?
I'm not being paid for not doing work. Regardless of what's on the books, a full time member of staff has to be paid their salary each month.
Holidays are an expense and sick days are an expense. Also various tax contributions have to be made by the employer on top of the tax employees have to pay (in the UK that is).
It does all add up and hiring individuals on a per project basis is often more cost effective.
I always tend to prefer to employ designers than to use freelance, to me it's always worked out cheaper (I'm UK based too), this is weird.