It also states that this leads to substantial tax losses to the public purse, and potentially increases the strain on the welfare state. Recommendations include that the status of worker should be assumed for those working in the gig economy rather than self employment. The whole report can be found here. The CIPD have also published an interesting report on the gig economy - "to gig or not to gig" - intended to inform the Government commissioned Taylor Review on Modern Employment Practices. The report focuses on the views of those working in the gig economy and what it is like to work in this way.
Headline statistics include:-
- Only 4% of UK working adults aged 18 - 70 are engaged in the gig economy;
- 58% of gig economy workers have permanent jobs and "gig" in addition to their normal work;
- Only 14% of those "gigging" did so because they couldn't find alternative employment.
The report makes a number of recommendations including increasing resources for ACAS so they can educate employers, the development of best practice guidance and amending the Employment Rights Act to require employers to provide all workers (not just employees) with written terms and conditions within 2 months of starting work.
The lack of clarity in employment status is probably the most publicised issue in the gig economy. Hot on the heels of bike couriers and taxi drivers, the newest role seeking worker status is that of a foster carer. In 2016 the Foster Carers Workers Union launched as a branch of the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain. The FCWU says most foster carers are "underpaid and undervalued". However, the union are not intending on raising legal action - instead they are setting up an all party parliamentary group to look at employment rights for foster carers and to lobby parliament for a change in legislation.
Finally, Uber's appeal against the decision that their drivers were workers has been listed to be heard on 27 and 28 September 2017. The Tribunal's decision could potentially impact on 1000s of workers in the gig economy if it stands.