More people expected to join the “gig economy”

New research has indicated that more than 1.5 million full-time UK workers are set to give up their jobs within the next year to join the gig economy.

A survey of 2,000 adults found 19% of workers are currently freelancers, sole traders or self-employed. Of the 81% in a full-time job, another 6 % are planning to join the gig economy this year. That 6% is equivalent to 1.56 million of the working population.

A further 28% of full-time employees said they would like to work in the gig economy, but have concerns about whether they could source enough money to support their lifestyle. Not knowing how to connect with customers and not knowing how to issue invoices or take payments were cited as the biggest barriers.

The rise of the gig economy has increased as a result of the ease of online platforms and apps, with half of workers citing these as vital in finding work. However, when it comes to worker’s rights, 55% said they do not feel suitably protected by current employment legislation.  Many people are clearly drawn to this model of working due to the flexibility and control it offers, particularly if they are not in a position to commit to a full-time job. This is a trend that is likely to continue in the future.

The research found that 71% of gig economy workers identified flexibility as the biggest appeal for working on a contractor or temporary basis. Nearly half said they gig because they are not in a position to work full-time due to other commitments in their life.

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