Is the ‘Gig Economy’ Creating a New Type of Worker

Monday 14 November 2016

With Uber facing increasing levels of legal action from its staff, what rights do freelance workers have, and what does that mean for employers?

The term “gig economy” has firmly entered employment vocabulary, becoming a catch-all term for anything from Airbnb hosts and freelance professionals selling their skills through websites like Fiverr, and TaskRabbit, through to people working on a portfolio of different assignments for a number of businesses.

But what does this highly flexible way of working mean for employers?

The freelance world is still a relatively small workforce. Following the crash of 2008 the proportion of people working for themselves has grown from 12% to 16%. The UK is still some way behind the US, where 53 million Americans work freelance including 21 million independent contractors, but it is a growing workforce and could soon overtake number of employees in the UK public sector.