During 2017, there has been a growing concern on the status of those working in the ‘gig’ economy.
On paper, the flexibility to work when you want with no responsibility sounds good – especially for students/those who aren’t the key breadwinner. Not so good for those people who are the key breadwinner or this is their only source of income. ACAS and many other employment organisations have been struggling on flexibility vs protection of workers for sometime.
The gig economy includes courier drivers, fast food delivery cyclists, even those working for large national courier companies. These people have to be ‘self-employed’ sometimes provide their own transport/clothes and provide cover if they are sick and can’t do their shift. They work on an ‘as and when required’ basis but this can sometimes mean companies won’t give them any work for a considerable amount of time.
How can people pay rent/mortgage, feed and clothe themselves if they never know how much money they will have at the end of the month?
There was a huge surge of negative public opinion over zero hours contracts and again when the Chancellor of the Exchequer tried to bring in raised taxes for the self-employed. It seems as though the ‘gig economy’ is just a more palatable term for ‘zero hours contract. Is it right in a country that prides itself on inclusion that people have to work without protection/commitment?