The Gig Economy In The UK
The gig economy is a labour market that depends on part-time and temporary job roles filled by freelancers or independent contractors instead of employees working as full-time employees. Workers in the gig economy have independence and flexibility, but there needs to be more job security. Most employers in the economy save their money by ignoring pay benefits like paid vacation time and health coverage, while others pay for several advantages to gig workers but deploy the benefits program along with management works to external firms. Workers are paid a sum of money agreed upon before starting the work, and after completing the project or work, they get the amount rather than getting paid for the period that they work, even though some of the tasks are on a daily wage or hourly basis. One example of a gig driver who delivers products is paid an exact amount for each delivery. A gig worker’s total income accounts for every gig economy assignment. In today`s rapidly growing world, usage of the internet and several apps are important for a part-time or a full-time worker in the gig economy. For a particular service or product, customers find workers whose skills match the service they want.
The gig economy helps in making extra money and aids individuals in earning their living, and this is why individuals are turning towards a gig economy. Most individuals in the gig economy believe it helps them make extra money and regular payments. A survey estimated that individuals in the United Kingdom who work as full-time workers earn only 10% of the earnings of the gig economy. There is a large number of job opportunities in the gig economy. This is so because it varies widely and involves every type of job, self-employed workers working independently for many clients. A survey indicated that Uber, Deliveroo, Peopleperhour, Upwork, and Fiverr are popular platforms for gig workers in the United Kingdom.
Moreover, using the Internet helps advertise the products and services delivered by these apps. These workers need to register themselves with these platforms and earn extra money. Workers can advertise the products and services from their own websites or social media platforms, display cards on the window of the show, or recommend or explain to people from word of mouth. Several main reasons why individuals are turning towards being a gig economy are –
- Workers become more flexible with time and earn additional money to fulfil their demands.
- It helps workers experience novel fields of work and transform their careers.
- Workers working in the gig economy can get jobs that can make more money in future and can also be helpful for workers to work with their flexibility anywhere.
- Workers in the gig economy can choose their working schedules with less stress.
- Also, Coronavirus and regular workers have empowered everyday workers to procure from the gig economy being a worker.
The monetary crisis in the United Kingdom 2008 impacted people and made them underemployed or unemployed. This at last raised the demand for temporary work in the country on the grounds that the people or workers were attempting to sort out various ways by which they could build their pay or change their calling. Most people began doing independent or temporary positions or some agreement occupations alongside an adaptable work on the opposite side. With these advantages of the gig economy, people got comfortable with this idea and have standardized it on a more extensive scale.
At the hour of Coronavirus, workers in the gig economy became significant for keeping organizations running and giving the populace a feeling of ordinariness. As indicated by The discoveries of an overview, it is expressed that practically 1.37 million gig workers came into the United Kingdom’s gig economy from the year 2019 to the furthest limit of the year 2021, while after this, one more 1.18 million gig workers came to the UK’s gig economy before the year’s over 2022. At the hour of the pandemic, the study showed an increment of 7% in gig works done online and in deliveries. This likewise made the country more digitized; people began accomplishing more digitized work, food deliveries, and everything turned out to be so natural. Likewise, working home culture began in light of the fact that the pandemic saw a blast. Numerous ways make sense of that the longings and needs of the workers can be worked with and reflected in the gig economy as it furnishes them with more noteworthy adaptability in satisfying their demands and adjusting their lives.
Moreover, changes in consumer behaviour, hospitality, creative sectors and transportation have encouraged the growth of the UK after the gig economy entered into the United Kingdom. Figures from official data indicate that at present, 7.25 million people are working in the UKs gig economy, which shows economic growth in the nation. However, there are several benefits and disadvantages for workers and businesses in the gig economy. These are discussed in detail.
Pros Of Being A Worker In The Gig Economy
- Flexibility – It is one of the main advantages that benefits freelance workers. Workers get flexibility in working hours and the place where they want to work. The workers are provided with the assignment and the delivery date of the assignment now, and it is the worker’s responsibility when and how the work will be completed. Workers work at a time when it is easy for them to work and their timetable and their needs as well. Some workers find it easy to work in the morning, while others find it comfortable at night. They plan their working schedules according to the ideal time they get from their work. They are also given flexibility in choosing whether to work from any remote location or their home. This makes people fascinated towards this economy more as most individuals want to work around their family.
- Job Variety – Grab economy workers have a wide range of job opportunities. By doing monotonous work daily, they can feel creative and interested in completing the projects, as different projects usually include various elements, making them creative.
- Greater independence – Most workers in the gig economy have complete independence in the completion of their work. Working from home helps this independence with no one looking after them at every point. They are assigned the tasks and are left to complete it by themselves. This also makes the workers feel confident and increases their capability to fulfil the requirements of the assigned task and complete their work in the way that the worker feels right according to their timetable.
- Pay – Payment to workers who work as freelancers varies in different companies. Several organisations pay them less while some companies pay more as they are not paid any extra benefits from the organisation with the salary. Mostly, gig workers charge organisations according to their hourly rates for the time they take to complete the work. This means these workers can manage their working hours and be paid more for the extra time they devote to completing their work. Moreover, phone calls, meetings, and regular work are also billable. Individuals pursuing their education while working as freelancers in the gig economy are also possible as both education and working in the gig economy are flexible.
Cons Of Workers Being In The Gig Economy
- Lack of cultural solidarity or isolation – Some workers in the gig economy find it irritating to work from home or some remote location. Freelancers mainly work from home and cannot interact and learn from others. Moreover, they may also feel that they have spent their day alone. This causes a lack of cultural solidarity as the gig workers work in isolation from remote locations, do not interact with others, and miss out on the chance to learn.
- No benefits – Most workers working in the gig economy cannot get benefits as they are not working in the company as a full-time employees. Rarely do some companies provide benefits to workers who work for a longer term. So, gig workers need to plan and buy private insurance for themselves. There is also a need for them to plan their retirement and start saving some amount. Mostly, companies do not manage this for gig workers, so they must get in contact with financial advisors and figure out the possible ways that are considered best according to their situation.
- More stress – Workers in the gig economy are always stressed out, thinking of what to do next after the completion of the current project, which makes them feel worried and stressed regarding their future. Because of this, workers are always concerned about their future employment. These workers also face unexpected changes in their jobs, whether it be changes in their salary or anything else. They also feel stressed if they are replaced by other employees in the company while facing problems in the projects, which is challenging for them to communicate.
- Personal expense and quarterly tax – Many business firms do not remove tax from the salary of workers, which means that workers have to plan for paying taxes. Moreover, gig workers also have to take responsibility for their expenses made by them regarding their work, such as cell phones and laptops. And these items are not included in the taxes, so they need to take note of what is being deducted. Most freelancers always make a note of their expenses or they are in contact with an accountant to make a note of things used in their work and what taxes are levied on those products or things.
Pros of Business In The Gig Economy
- A large number of flexible workers – In a gig economy, companies have many flexible workers. These flexible workers work at different times from normal working hours, so it is easy for the companies if they need some work to get done by early morning or late night. As workers can do their work from home, they are also willing to do work on weekends by providing the business with more flexibility and options. Workers in the gig economy are of different age groups and acquire a set of skills, and companies hire workers who have a proper set of skills based on the project. Businesses bring workers from the gig economy to make the company successful by showcasing their creativity and executing effective ideas for its betterment.
- Reduced cost – The companies hire freelance workers from the gig economy as they charge lower costs and companies do not pay them benefits, while full-time employees charge more costs than freelance workers. Employers only have to pay the workers for the work provided by them, and several times, employers do not have to offer the workers the required work equipment. This makes the company pay only for the workers’ service and cut costs.
- Ability to scale – Most startup firms or smaller businesses hire freelancers to increase the extent of their business rapidly. Startup firms do not need to provide freelancers with office space, benefits and equipment; they make sure that the workers have their laptops and can do the work. These freelancers are easily found and acquire basic marketing knowledge and, in some cases, only by word of mouth. By doing so, businesses can meet the demands and goals of the market while reducing their costs as well. Companies can also save money and time by setting up HR or healthcare programs, and they hire freelancers to complete simple projects that must be completed on time.
Cons of Business In The Gig Economy
- Strict regulations on the status of contractors – Companies who hire freelancers or gig workers must understand the rules and regulations for the status of contractors in their country. Several countries need written agreements for freelancers, while others require at-will statements from them, which means that employers or employees can finish the association between them at any time. Companies hire workers with complete paperwork, and the workers or freelancers are given income information, which differs from the full-time employees income information, as freelancers are required to pay taxes. All this makes businesses suffer from headaches in the navigation process.
- Less reliable workers – Several times, workers in the gig economy look for jobs in remote locations as they are not willing to move to other places or work harder. This makes the businesses suffer as they believe that workers set up the expectations of the employers, making them believe that their company will have a reliable worker.
The rise of the United Kingdom as a gig economy and the shortage of labour capacity in the skilled workforce leads to the belief that the corporate sector is transforming, and companies must prepare themselves to support these changes shortly. The gig economy is in high demand in the UK as it provides workers or freelancers with the freedom and flexibility to choose their way of earning to figure out where they want to work and when they want to work. Even the gig economy allows workers to spend time on their work according to their interests. Workers with no guaranteed monthly income and no legal regimes to safeguard themselves from unfair treatment and exploitation in the organisation constantly look for job opportunities and depend on them. Workers and businesses working and operating in the gig economy also have several advantages and disadvantages, and they must weigh themselves on their situations.
Author Bio: Mark Edmonds, a devoted proficient at Academic Assignments, is eminent for his excellent economics assignment help to students. With significant mastery and a guarantee to academic greatness, Mark has engaged incalculable students. His insightful work, exemplified by “The Gig Economy In The UK,” features his profound understanding of monetary trends. Mark’s passion for training and unwavering commitment make him an important resource for Academic Assignments, reliably delivering top notch assignment help to students striving for academic outcome in economics.