Will the Gig Economy overtake the Public Sector?
- 46% - The number of people in self-employment has grown by this number since 2000
- 8.5million - The number of people who own or work in a micro business (0-9 employees)
- 72% - recent years has seen a boom in app based taxi and delivery services and the number of those employed has increased to 65,300 in 2016 up by 72% from 2010
The gig economy is here..
There is a changing face of work. Technological changes are driving this more than ever. Big companies are increasingly relying on contracting out to the self-employed or agency workers on short term contracts. This trend has been here for many years but appears to be on the increase.
As a result, working practices and the taxation system have to take account of this and cope. The political and policy focus groups in Government have greatly increased their debates around the nature of self-employment.
There is now a trade union for the self employed, called 'Community'. It is a community in its own right and is a modern Union for the changing world. They want to create a voice for the UK self-employed workers. Such that they can be independent but not alone.
Home working is also on the rise with approximate estimates being 1.5million of the 8.5m above doing so.
While there is debate that this group is vulnerable, generally they are highly skilled and qualified professionals working for more than one company. The individuals bring wealth to the UK. The union is looking for more employment rights, but who will be providing those such as maternity, paternity or sickness rights, the Government? Surely self-employment is exactly that, with no rights.
The rise of the “gig economy” is proving to be a strong social trend, not only just here in the UK but throughout Europe and the rest of the world. People who work for themselves are becoming a powerful economic and political force. Watch this debate with interest.