United. Businesses and employers are backing the need to protect gig economy workers

United. Businesses and employers are backing the need to protect gig economy workers


Much rides on the outcome of the Uber ruling. It’s been heavily covered and with good reason.  The gig economy has been on the rise for several years.  And 64% of employers believe its importance will continue to grow – partly thanks to the flexible working it affords, but also because it offers a potential solution to the UK’s productivity crisis.

And with an annual increase of 24% in the number of contract and freelance roles advertised and an increase of 34% in candidate applications, it shows demand and supply is strong on both sides.

35% of gig-workers said they chose this form of employment as it offered greater flexibility than a typical 9-5 job. 32% put it down to the fact that they couldn’t find full or part-time work and 22% said they did it to broaden their experience in a different industry. Businesses are positive about it too, with 79% of employers citing flexibility as their top benefit, whilst 40% said it was to fill a team gap and 35% said it helped when scaling up or down.

On the face of it, it appears to be a win-win.

Yet what’s in debate, is whether this much-valued flexibility, is far more in favour of the employer than the workers (who are not eligible to any statutory rights such as minimum wage, redundancy pay, holiday pay, sick pay or company pension).

Given that it opens a whole can of worms, the nice surprise was that nine out of ten employers and employees agreed that gig economy workers need more rights and protection. The Uber case will no doubt shape the evolution of this in one way or another. However, whatever the outcome, it feels that with the market growing as it is greater clarity around protection, rights and legislation must be on the cards.

David Clift, HR Director, totaljobs, said: “It’s great to see that employers and employees are united in calling for broader rights and protections for those working within the gig economy. Public awareness of the gig economy focuses primarily on courier services and drivers, but it’s vital to remember that more and more people from a wide range of sectors are adopting flexible working options. With the Taylor Review highlighting the issue some four months ago, our research shows that all sides are on the same page, and waiting on ministers to make improvements to protect freelance, contract and zero-hours workers.”


Thursday, 9 November 2017

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