Good Gigs: A Fairer Future for the UK’s Gig Economy
The gig economy has the power to change everything; to shake up the traditional relationship between employer and employee to create a whole new landscape. Quite contrary to the traditional permanent contract between one employer and one employee, new gig economy companies – such as Upwork, Talmix or Deliveroo – offer platforms where multiple individuals looking for a service connect to multiple peoples who can provide it.
In recent years, the number of gig workers has risen sharply. The group now represents 1.1m people working in Britain, according to a new report and survey published by the RSA.
This number is still relatively small when compared to the 4.8m self-employed across the UK, but this new report presents aggregated data on gig workers for the first time, and can be used to provide valuable insight on this segment of employment.
The study suggests that how society responds to the impact of gig work on the labour market is an early and significant litmus test. Our reaction to this shift in the world of work is indicative of how we will manage increasingly radical changes to the employment landscape in the future, as a result of developments in technology such as artificial intelligence and automation.
The hope is that we can leverage technology for the benefit of workers. The RSA recommends addressing issues of capital, culture and market distortions through greater investment in ‘Worker Tech’ and sustainable business models. It also calls for an inquiry into whether market competition across the whole economy is robust and serving the interests of customers, suppliers, shareholders and taxpayers.
Commenting on the report, our CEO Céline Lazorthes said:
“I am delighted MANGOPAY has supported the largest survey on the gig economy ever conducted in the UK, which provides solid data and much-needed insight into this expanding and highly topical field.
“The rapid growth of the gig economy raises the question of our changing relationship with work. It is a system that creates non-traditional dynamics between employers and employees. Over the coming years, we will require innovation to enable and facilitate this new working style.
Traditional institutions, such as insurance companies and banks, must respond to the increasing need for flexibility of process. The market must adapt and design solutions that create a positive impact for those working in the gig economy today.”
Download the full report from the RSA website here