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Opinions

6 June 2017

Gigging in the UK

Latest ONS figures suggest 4.77M people are Self-Employed in the UK. Of that figure, around 1.3M are known to be ‘gigging’. Industry tycoons & researchers believe this number is only going to increase as larger volumes of people are enticed by the benefits of “gigging”.

After the economic downturn of 2009, the unemployed created a culture of working multiple part time jobs short in duration & often lower paid than full-time work. This was in retaliation to job cuts, loss of earnings and the death of a one-company career. People’s lives are becoming busier & the world we live in is getting faster; therefore the flexibility of the Gig Economy is becoming more appealing than working a 9-5.

“A gig economy is an environment in which temporary positions are common and organisations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements”.
Source: ICSA The Governance Institute

Today, Worker Unions, MPs & ‘Giggers’ are applying pressure to the Government to push for better working conditions, rates of pay & benefits that reflect the reality of the work being offered by Employers. It is the “Contract versus Reality” differences that are supporting the pressure on the Government to make wholesale changes.

The Crackdown on the gig economy has begun with more & more companies being investigated to thwart false self-employment. Is your Business ready for the repercussions?

It is important to not confuse the “Gig Economy” with “Zero-Hour” Contracts which present a similar challenge to Companies not wanting to pay out for resource during certain hours of the day or week. Another term that is used is a “Sharing Economy”, a collaborative business model allowing individuals to rent or borrow goods or technology to do their job. The “Platform Economy” is the latest trend, using Uber as an example of how one single platform, can link the worker to the work & then back to the User.

With the up-coming Matthew Taylor review due to be published within the next 2 months, many Industries are unsure of whether their practices are compliant right now and if they will be after the report is published. 92% of sector say Clarity of the “Gig Economy” is needed. This is to enable best practices around uniform choices, company property use and access to technology as well as training.

Whether people regard the “Gig Economy” as their main income, or as a way of topping up their main income, it suits Companies to have a flexible work force & it looks like the on-demand workforce is here to stay.

The IN-SYNC Group offer free face-to-face consultations for Business’s wishing to assess how they can outsource the risk associated with using self-employed Operatives benefiting from our Risk Management Processes.

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