The Rise Of The Gig Economy
A labour market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.
According to employers, it’s a flexible solution for those who don’t want a fixed job, but if you ask those in the gig economy, it’s just another way employers have found to limit their rights. There’s no shortage of news stories outlining both sides of the argument. The entire process seems to have stemmed from the rise in popularity of zero hours contracts. These aren’t a new phenomenon, but they have gained traction in recent years as a way to keep staffing costs flexible.
The gig economy is characterised by workers holding multiple freelance roles as opposed to being classed as employees. What’s the difference you may ask? Well, for Manchester solicitors, the big difference comes in the way these individuals are rewarded for their work. As a freelancer, you will be paid for the work you’ve done and no more, and the worker takes responsibility for their taxes and national insurance contributions. On the other hand, if you are an employee, you will be entitled to certain benefits such as statutory sick pay, paid holiday leave and maternity pay.
The problem with the gig economy is when employers hire people as freelancers who should really be classed as employees – giants like Uber, Deliveroo and CitySprint have all been swept up in the drama. Their argument is that their workers are free to accept other courier work, so they shouldn’t be classed as employees. However, when a Deliveroo driver is adorned in Deliveroo branding during their workday, it’s difficult to see how they could deliver food for a rival company.
Employment lawyers and politicians seem to be struggling to keep up with these new ways of working. While the gig economy might be beneficial for anyone looking for an easy way to earn a bit of extra money, there needs to be a distinction in place for those who choose to put in their 35 hours every week with the same company. There also needs to be restrictions put in place so that employers cannot take advantage of freelancers in dire need of work. As ideal as this is, due to the mass amounts of people wanting a job, the fightback to stop this from occurring won’t happen anytime soon. This, however, is short term fix and whilst the bigger corporates reap the benefits, it is not helping the economy develop in the right or fair way in the long run.