Gig economy

The “gig economy” refers to a trend away from traditional employment models towards the use of freelance contractors to fulfil short-term projects or “gigs”. It is becoming increasingly prevalent with the advent of technologies that allow freelancers to bid for or otherwise engage clients on a piecemeal basis. Uber, Airbnb and Upwork are all examples of disruptive technologies that are putting clients in touch with service providers in real-time online marketplaces. These pages cover the “Uberisation” of the economy and the employment status of so-called “gig workers”.

What will happen to employment status and the Good Work Plan?

Against the background of the coronavirus crisis, the changes coming in on 6 April and the proposed Employment Bill continue to narrow the gap between the status and rights of workers and employee.

Bolt driver to bring employment status case

16 Mar 2020

A driver is bringing an employment status case against taxi-hailing company Bolt after he was expelled from its platform for...

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Uber drivers in France are employees

6 Mar 2020

Uber drivers in France are employees and not self-employed, the country’s highest court has confirmed.
The landmark ruling, which confirms...

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IR35: Surely blanket bans are not the answer?

3 Mar 2020

Rather than run the risk of being caught out by the extension of off-payroll working rules to the private sector,...

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Hospital maintenance

Statutory sick pay could stymie Covid-19 response

2 Mar 2020

Health workers on statutory sick pay face difficult decision if they exhibit coronavirus symptoms, while gig economy workers also may face dilemma.

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Lords launches IR35 inquiry as freelancer confidence ‘plummets’

6 Feb 2020

A House of Lords select committee is to scrutinise the extension of IR35 rules to the private sector, just two...

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One in three employees say their job is ‘low quality’

4 Feb 2020

Research published today shows that 36% of UK employees report having a “low-quality” job.
Analysis of the Household Longitudinal Study...

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Gig economy ‘like quicksand’ and workers unable to develop skills

29 Jan 2020

Gig workers are often “trapped” in insecure work because long hours, financial insecurity and piecemeal work mean they are often...

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Six employment law cases that will shape 2020

14 Jan 2020

We look at six important employment law cases that will get the headlines in 2020, covering significant issues such as...

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people commuters on London Bridge

Recruiters report modest increase in appointments

10 Jan 2020

KPMG and REC's monthly survey points to slight gains in certain areas of the economy over the past month.

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Gig economy ad banned for “harmful gender stereotypes”

8 Jan 2020

Gig economy company PeoplePerHour has had an advert banned by the Advertising Standards Authority because it promoted “harmful gender stereotypes”....

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Jo Swinson

LibDems aspire to modernise gig economy and increase worker incomes

25 Nov 2019

The Liberal Democrats say they would alter employment rights to make them a better fit with the gig economy.

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Graduates take on second jobs to meet living costs

20 Nov 2019

Recent university graduates are having to take on second jobs in order to pay their rent and cope with rising...

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Bolt drivers urge better pay and recognition of workers’ rights

30 Oct 2019

Drivers for the minicab app Bolt have staged a protest against what they describe as “unfair” dismissals and its alleged...

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Gig workers should be able to form unions, says EU commissioner

25 Oct 2019

The European Union’s competition commissioner has said that gig workers should be able to “team up” to form unions.

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