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The Gig Economy: flexible freedom or wage slavery?



If you’ve ever used an app to order a late-night food delivery or to book a plumber then you’ve most likely tapped into the platform economy. It’s one of the most important new transformations in the world of work. And right now the big debate in Europe is over working conditions.

Digital platform work, also known as the gig economy, has increased five-fold in the last decade.

It is where individuals provide specific services organised through a digital platform that connects them with clients.

This can be a location-based app – allocating jobs such as food delivery, taxi or plumbing services, or web-based platforms – outsourcing work like translation or graphic design.

The platforms are creating new job opportunities. However, there are challenges to ensure good working conditions and that the algorithms treat workers fairly.

Platform Working: to regulate or not to regulate?

This new model of platform working has left governments unsure how to regulate it. Spain is the first EU country to pass a law classing food delivery riders as employees with social protections.

Fanny Gauret went to meet some food delivery riders in Barcelona to get their views.

Fanny met two young delivery men who know the streets of Barcelona by heart, one on a scooter, the other on a bicycle, carrying food or parcels. Both are self-employed workers, and their situation is set to change in the coming months.

As a new law is presented to the Council of Ministers will classify all riders working for delivery platforms as employees. They will access rights like unemployment benefits, vacation or sick leave. For this young South American rider, who wants to remain anonymous, it is a relief.

“What the government proposes to these companies is that they give us a minimum wage, sick leave, life insurance, a vehicle, to be able to work properly,” the anonymous, self-employed rider explains. “Because we spend up to 12 hours a day working, to receive sometimes less than the minimum wage.”

This young man is paid by delivery, according to the prices set by the platform. As he can’t afford a motorbike, he works on a bicycle, which he says, is a big disadvantage.

“I have never made €1000 a month. By bicycle, it is very difficult to do it. Because you have to work long hours, it is exhausting. If you don’t connect to the platform, if you do something wrong, if you cancel many orders, they just cancel your account.”

A minimum wage, work accident insurance, or control of profile cancellations, that’s what many riders hope for with this law.

“Freedom and flexibility”

In Spain, there are already some delivery platforms that use the wage model. But Jordi Mateo, who works 40 to 50 hours a week, prefers to remain independent:

“Looking at what the competitor companies are doing with the employees, I think that I will have a contract of 15 or 20 hours, which will be very prejudicial to, on the one hand, the freedom and flexibility that I have today, and my income, which is going to drop drastically,” says Mateo.

Working on a scooter for several platforms, he is satisfied with earning more than the Spanish minimum wage, around € 1,100 gross per month. Although he would welcome improvements, such as being able to set his own prices.

“What most of the self-employed believe is that we need reinforcement in our protections, but we do not have to go through a contract, which our experience tells us, will make us precarious and not protect us – as the government would have us believe,” insists Mateo.

This complex situation reflects the great diversity in the profiles of people who use digital platforms to find clients, in sectors such as transport, home services, and online services.

Opening up to the job market

Laura is a graphic designer. After losing her job due to the health crisis, she turned to a platform that connects her directly to a wide variety of clients.

“You sign up to the platform, you create your profile, you put your rate, your hours, your availability,” Laura Cardenas Corrales outlines. “For me, the change is positive because it gives me the freedom to dedicate the hours that I want to dedicate and do the projects that I really like. I believe that platforms like this help you open up to the job market.”

While more social protection is needed for some of these workers, the model of flexible working schedule and hours is championed by others, including the digital platforms which defend their model. According to the International Labor Organization, they generate just under 4 billion euros of annual income in Europe.

But how can compliance with labour laws and job quality be ensured? With the pandemic and the boom in home deliveries, discussions have intensified.

The view from Brussels

The European Commission has launched a consultation to improve the protection of workers on digital platforms, inviting trade unions and employers’ organisations to find agreement. If they can’t, the Commission will draw up legislation by the end of 2021.

“This very promising sector has a lot of good dimensions such as a better work-life balance for people, more flexibility, access to the labour market for people who are sometimes in very difficult circumstances” explains Joost Korte, the EU Commission’s Director-General for Employment.

“But it needs to be a sustainable model on which it is based. Otherwise what will happen is that we would come to different solutions in different member states, which will be negative in the context of the single market,” he adds.

For more on this, Naomi Lloyd spoke with a Senior Economist at the International Labour Organisation -the United Nations agency that sets international labour standards.

Naomi Lloyd – Euronews

“Let’s start with the European Commission’s consultation – is this something you welcome?”

Uma Rani – Senior Economist, ILO

“We have to remember that digital labour platforms work across borders, so EU legislative framework, which will come out by the end of this year, would be a very good step forward in improving the lives and the working conditions of the workers and the platforms.”

Naomi Lloyd – Euronews

We saw there the rider in Fanny’s report that says he is penalised by the algorithms if he turns down any jobs – is this something you’ve come across much?

Uma Rani – Senior Economist, ILO

This is the experience of many workers on these platforms. The platforms are actually using algorithmic management practices in allocating the work and rewarding the work and monitoring the entire process of the work itself. If you start refusing work, if you are not able to keep up the speed, then it penalises you.

Naomi Lloyd – Euronews

But we saw there that not all riders actually want to be employees – many of them like the flexibility of working the hours they want.

Uma Rani – Senior Economist, ILO

I guess the reason why this particular rider wants to work for very long hours is because of the gamification process that these platforms have. So they have a lot of bonuses and incentives.

Then over a period of time, what happens is that the amount of work that you are receiving actually comes down, the pay you are getting comes down, and that’s where the frustration comes in.

Naomi Lloyd – Euronews

But people in many industries choose to be self-employed, what’s the issue here with platform work?

Uma Rani – Senior Economist, ILO

The problem becomes when self-employed becomes disguised self-employment where you are an employee, but you’re asked to become self-employed and you do not get any of the benefits. There are no regulations. So they are self-regulated and they decide what the status of the worker is, what the price of a ride or price of a task is, which is what becomes very problematic.

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Gig Economy Market 2021 | Covid19 Impact Analysis | Business Outlook, Growth, Revenue, Trends and Forecasts 2026




Gig Economy Market
A new business intelligence report released by Qurate Research with the title “Global Gig Economy Market Research Report 2021” that targets and provides COVID-19 Outbreak comprehensive market analysis with prospects to 2026. The analysts of the study have acquired, extensive research methodologies and data sources (i.e. Secondary & Primary Sources) to generate collective and useful information that delivers the latest market undercurrents and industry trends. The report provides a comprehensive overview including Definitions, Scope, Application, Production and CAGR (%) Comparison, Segmentation by Type, Share, Revenue Status and Outlook, Capacity, Consumption, Market Drivers, Production Status and Outlook and Opportunities, Export, Import, Emerging Markets/Countries Growth Rate. The report presents a 360-degree overview of the competitive landscape of the industries.

The report evaluates the global Gig Economy market size, share, and growth rate and provides an accurate projection for similar facets by thoroughly studying historic as well as the current status of the market. The report presents a market analysis based on revenue and sales volume. It also allows for gaining comprehensive acumen in upcoming business opportunities, obstacles, threats, and hindering factors in the market.

Besides, the report sheds light on the significant evaluation of leading contenders who have been performing in the market to satisfy the desired needs and anticipations of end-users. The report offers in-depth insights into leading market players, alongside their corporate and organizational profiles, financial details, manufacturing methodologies, and so forth. Statistical details in terms of revenue, sales volume, profit margin, and CAGR have been included in the report. Additionally, the report comprises recent strategic and tactical moves that help to form their own lucrative business stratagem and make profound business decisions.

This report categorizes the market based on manufacturers, regions, types and applications.

A thorough assessment of leading manufacturers including their profiles, pricing structure, and product specifications of Gig Economy Market:

Favor Delivery
Twago Enterprise

Key Market Segmentation as follows –

Type Segmentation

(APP-based, Website-based)

Industry Segmentation

(Freelancer, Independent Contractor, Project Worker, Part-Time)

Buy Latest Copy of Report! @

Market Segment by RegionsNorth America (United States, Canada and Mexico), Europe (Germany, France, UK, Russia and Italy), Asia-Pacific (China, Japan, Korea, India and Southeast Asia), South America (Brazil, Argentina, Colombia etc.), Middle East and Africa (Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt, Nigeria and South Africa)

Additionally, the report discusses provincial trade frameworks, entry barriers, and varying economic structures.

Moreover, the report presents industry overview in a portrayed view to offer a wide acuity of the global Gig Economy market. It also provides a detailed analysis based on a competitive landscape that aids a reader to obtain a thorough perception of competitive advantages, contender’s missions, core values, and niche markets. It also highlights how the Gig Economy market is associated with its peer and parent market. Further, the report illuminates its impacts on the international economy throughout the period between 2021 and 2026.

If you are involved in the Global Gig Economy industry or intend to be, then this study will provide you a comprehensive outlook. It is vital you keep your market knowledge up to date segmented by major players. If you have a different set of players/manufacturers according to geography or needs regional or country segmented reports, we can provide customization according to your requirement.

The Global Gig Economy Market Report Enfolds:

• Extensive delineation of Gig Economy industry overview.
• Cardinal synopsis of every leading contender performing in the global Gig Economy market.
• Statistical assessment of Gig Economy market size, share, revenue, growth rate, and sales volume.
• Precise details based on Gig Economy market segmentation.
• Valuable information on the changing-pricing structure.

Major Points Covered in TOC:

Gig Economy Market Overview
Gig Economy Market Segment by Type
Gig Economy Market Analysis by Applications
Gig Economy Market Analysis by Regions
Gig Economy Market Dynamics
Gig Economy Manufacturers Profiles
Gig Economy Market Forecast (2021-2026)
Sales Channel, Distributors, Traders and DealersResearch Findings and Conclusion

Any query? Enquire Here For Discount Or Report Customization

Contact Us:
E-mail:[email protected]
Ph: US – +13393375221

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Note: In order to provide more accurate market forecast, all our reports will be updated before delivery by considering the impact of COVID-19.

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What freelancers should know about navigating the gig economy




In this episode of In The Know’s Getting Rich, financial expert Carmen Perez chats with certified financial planner Brittney Castro on everything freelancers should know about the gig economy.

The gig economy refers to freelancers, contractors or anyone with a specialized skill set including graphic design, home repairs and web development. But freelancers have to consider things full-time works may not have to, like the cost of private insurance and setting aside taxes. When you’re self-employed understanding personal finance can make or break you but it can also offer you freedoms a nine to five can’t.

“The main feature of this type of work is freelancers get to take on as much or as little work as they want, set their own pay and generally work across a variety of different industries,” Perez said.

A common misconception Castro, the founder of Financially Wise Inc., runs into with freelancers is the belief that creatives can’t handle the financial side of things.

“Creativity is so valuable with finances and wealth creation. If you just stop saying that and take the time to learn and get yourself empowered, you’ll probably be really good at managing money,” Castro said.

So to ensure you get all those sweet freelancing perks, you’ve got to be prepared.

“Make sure you have a separate account for taxes. All and any money that you make, [make sure] you’re setting aside the right amount of taxes for that,” Perez said.

Keeping records in one place whether it’s QuickBooks or a notebook, will make things that much easier on tax day. 

Another piece of advice from Castro was to think of yourself like a business from day one.

“Separate your business and personal checking accounts right away. Have a business name, have a business entity,” Castro said. “Maybe you have to learn bookkeeping, maybe you have to learn health insurance, learn about benefits. It can be frustrating and challenging but with those learning curves you get empowered and you keep going.”

During slow periods when less work is coming in, Perez recommended an emergency fund to ensure bills get paid.

For freelancers who are past the beginner stage and ready to level up, Castro suggested to start investing.

“Investing in things that will grow your money faster than your savings or checking account is the name of the game,” Castro said. “Start with one, figure out where your natural interest lies, focus on that investment category. Then commit to constantly learning.”

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The post What freelancers should know about navigating the gig economy appeared first on In The Know.

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Almost two fifths of gig economy workers get less than a week’s notice over shifts or work patterns




Close to two-fifths  of UK workers in full or part-time employment are given less than a week’s notice of their shifts or work patterns, according to new research conducted by the Living Wage Foundation. 

The research – based on two surveys, of over 2,000 UK adults in each case[1] – addresses a gap in the UK’s labour market data and understanding of hours insecurity, being the first recent study to assess notice periods for work schedules across the workforce.[2]

The study found that among the 59% of workers whose job involves variable hours or shift work, over three-fifths (62%) reported having less than a week’s notice of their work schedules. At the extreme, 12% of this group – amounting to 7% all working adults – had less than 24 hours’ notice.

While short notice periods affect workers throughout the UK, they are particularly common in London, where almost half (48%) of all workers received less than a week’s notice of work schedules. Scotland (35%), the South of England excluding London (34%), and the North of England (33%)  are areas where short notice periods were less common.

A second survey conducted by the Living Wage Foundation homed in on the experience of full-time, low-paid workers, finding that they were particularly hard hit by short notice of working hours. Of those working full time and paid below the real Living Wage of £10.85 in London and £9.50 in the rest of the UK, more than half (55%) had less than a week’s notice of work schedules, with 15% having less than 24 hours’ notice. Low-paid, full-time workers from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds[3] (68% of whom had less than a week’s notice of work patterns) and those with children (64%) were also disproportionately affected.

Laura Gardiner, Director, Living Wage Foundation, said:

“Without clear notice of shift patterns provided in good time, millions of workers have had to make impossible choices on childcare, transport and other important aspects of family life. Low-paid workers have been particularly hard hit during the pandemic, with millions struggling to plan their lives due to the double whammy of changing restrictions on economic activity and insufficient notice of work schedules from employers.

Despite this, and the challenges many employers have faced, some have stepped up during this crisis and committed to provide workers with secure, guaranteed hours and notice of shift patterns. These are the businesses that will help us rebuild and recover, and we encourage more employers to follow their example.”

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