In light of Uber losing the appeal over its drivers’ working status, businesses and employees are calling on the UK government to provide more protection for those working in the gig economy.
In a survey of nearly 5,000 workers and over 100 businesses by jobs board totaljobs, 90% of employees and 87% of employers said that more regulations were needed to protect the rights of gig workers.
The gig economy has been on the rise for several years and 64% of employers believe its importance will only continue to grow in the next year, as individuals turn to self-employment in favour of more flexible working arrangements. This is backed up by an annual 24% increase in the number of contract and freelance roles advertised, and a 36% rise in candidate applications, according to totaljobs.
It’s predicted that five million people work in the gig economy in the UK, representing around 16% of the total full and part-time workforce. Some 43% of businesses surveyed said they already employ gig workers and almost half of those (45%) who don’t, said that they would do so in the future.
David Clift, HR director, totaljobs: “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.”
Meawhile, ManpowerGroup’s new report on The Rise of NextGen Work highlights how full-time, traditional employment is in decline in much of the world, giving way to a host of alternative work models – and how important it is to retain the positive aspects of these.
It also examines how people want different types of careers at different times in the lives for varying reasons – such as caring for a child or elderly relative, seeking a better work-life balance, or to gain the kind of control over their career and professional development that some conventional work settings haven’t been able to offer them.
Jonas Prising, chairman & CEO, ManpowerGroup said: “While the ‘uberisation’ of work grabs the headlines, the number of people working in gigs is still only a small part of the labour force. However, those seeking flexible, non-traditional ways of working are significantly greater … People and business want new ways to get work done.
“It’s time to shift the discussion from regulation and prevention to action: companies need to better understand how people want to participate and meet them where they are, with what they want. Flexibility, responsibility and employment security are not mutually exclusive.”