Less Than Minimum Wage Is Normal For Gig Economy Workers

less than minimum wage is normal for gig economy workers

less than minimum wage is normal for gig economy workers

As the cost of living keeps going up, a new report shows that more than half of gig economy workers in the UK are paid less than the minimum wage.

What the report of minimum wage for gig economy workers shows?

The study, which was the first of its kind, was done by the University of Bristol. It found that 52% of gig workers, who did things like data entry and food delivery, made less than the minimum wage. The average hourly wage of the people who answered the survey was £8.97, which is about 15% less than the current UK minimum wage of £10.42, which went up this month.

More than three-quarters (76%) of the people who answered the survey also felt insecure and anxious at work.

Lead author Dr. Alex Wood, Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Future of Work at the University of Bristol Business School, said, “The results show that working in the UK gig economy often means low pay, anxiety, and stress.” As the cost of food, fuel, and housing keeps going up, this group of workers is especially at risk and needs to be paid more and protected better.

More than a quarter of gig workers (28%) thought they were putting their health or safety at risk, and a quarter of gig workers (25%) felt pain on the job.

When asked what would make their lives better, the most common answers were basic rights like a minimum wage, paid vacations and sick days, and protection from being fired unfairly.

On their wish list, they also asked for unions and platform councils, which are like the works councils that exist in some European countries, to represent their needs and help them change how gig economy platforms work and how that affects their working conditions. More than three-quarters of those who answered thought that putting these bodies in place would help right away.

Dr. Wood said, “The fact that people spend a lot of time waiting or looking for work while logged on to a platform is a big reason why pay rates are so low.” The work is not only low-paying, but also very risky and uncertain. “The self-employed who depend on platforms to make a living need labour protections as soon as possible to protect them from the huge power imbalances that exist in the sector. This makes it clear that the current ‘worker’ status should be expanded to protect them.

Last year, 510 people who worked in the gig economy in the UK were interviewed for the study. People from all over the sector were there, and about half of them were remote freelancers who used sites like Upwork and Fiverr to get jobs like data entry and website design. The other half were local drivers who used apps like Deliveroo and Uber to deliver food and drive people around.

Respondents spent an average of 28 hours a week doing gig work, which made up 60% of their total earnings. This was more than just a way to make extra money.

Most of the people who answered thought their work was best described as self-employment, and they thought that giving self-employed people the same rights as employees would make their working lives a lot better.

Keep Reading

This was the first study to look into what kinds of gigs voice workers want. The results show that there is strong support for co-determination like it is done in Europe, where worker representatives are consulted about changes that affect working conditions and employment and then give their approval. Works councils in places like Germany could be used as a model for platform councils and assemblies in the gig economy so that workers can have a say in decisions that affect their ability to make a living.

Brendan Burchell, a professor of social sciences at the University of Cambridge and co-author of the report, said, “Respondents strongly felt that the creation of co-determination mechanisms would allow workers and their representatives to influence platform provider decisions, which could immediately improve their working lives.”

“These policies say that all major changes to the platform that affect jobs and working conditions must be approved by groups of workers who have been elected to do so. Our research shows that there is a lot of room for trade unions to grow in this sector, with most people willing to join and even start their own.

About Freelance writer

As a passionate freelance writer, I delve into the intricacies of human rights, work-life balance, and labour rights to illuminate the often overlooked aspects of our societal fabric. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to social justice, I navigate the complexities of these crucial topics, aiming to foster awareness and inspire change.

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