15 May 2023

A recent study found that 52% of workers in the gig-economy, from food delivery couriers to web designers, were earning an hourly rate that fell below the legal minimum in the UK.

The study involved 510 UK gig economy workers and this was the first research to investigate what forms of voice gig workers want. As per legislation, an employer must pay a minimum amount on an employee’s average hours worked. According to the reports, gig workers on an average were earning £8.97 per hour. This is around 15% below the current UK minimum wage, which rose to £10.42 on 1 April 2023.

The recent study found that three-quarters of survey respondents also shared that they experienced work-related insecurity and anxiety. Likewise, 28% felt they were risking their health or safety by working in the gig economy, while 25% experienced pain on the job.

In addition to this, more than three-quarters of respondents believed the introduction of unions and platform councils would bring instant benefits. The aim for this will be for the bodies to represent the workers needs and help influence how gig economy platforms operate and affect working conditions.

Most respondents spent on average 28 hours a week undertaking gig work and were using gig work as their main source of income, comprising on average 60% of their total earnings.

The research also asked what would improve the situation, many called for basic workers’ rights such as a minimum wage, holiday pay, sick pay and protection against unfair dismissal.

The study’s findings suggest a call for support from influential bodies and platforms, to come together and act as representatives for gig workers and their rights.

Payroll professionals can now register for the CIPP’s ‘National Minimum Wage (NMW & NLW) Training Course’. Click here to find out more.

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