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Report shows gig economy gives additional, flexible income
by Susie Hughes at 12:59 13/02/18 (News on Business)
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has published its research on the size of the gig economy, the characteristics of those participating in the gig economy and their experiences within it.
It confirms that, as many in the sector have believed, the majority in the gig economy do not use it as their main source of income and are satisfied with the flexible earning power it gives them.

Of the 2.8 million people the report estimated worked in the gig economy last year, the research found that just eight per cent saw it as their main income.

It also found that the majority of people (53 per cent) working in the gig economy were ‘either very or fairly satisfied with their experience’. This rose to 74 per cent among those ‘to whom the income from the gig economy was important’.

Additional, flexible income
Freelancer group, IPSE, welcomed the report and said that it confirmed what it had been saying for some time.

Andy Chamberlain, IPSE’s Deputy Director of Policy, said: “At IPSE, we welcome this report, both for its detail and its confirmation of what we have been saying for some time: for the vast majority of people working in the gig economy, it is not their main source of income. It is a source of additional, flexible income and most are very happy to have it.

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“As the BEIS report showed, however, 25 per cent of gig economy workers are also ‘very or fairly dissatisfied’ with their work-related benefits and income (although many of these may also be in the 14 per cent who said their involvement in the gig economy was only ‘one-off’). As IPSE’s own research has corroborated, a not-insignificant proportion of workers in the gig economy are at risk of being vulnerable, and they must not be ignored.

“As we recommended in our own report, there are several key ways the Government can help and support this vulnerable cohort. Universal Credit must account for fluctuating incomes so it can work for the self-employed.

"Improved access to training is also absolutely essential to help vulnerable self-employed people. Perhaps most importantly, the Government can clear the confusion over employment status and ensure vulnerable workers get the rights they need by introducing a statutory definition of self-employment.”

For more information about the BEIS report, see here.


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