Labour Blog

Labour Blog

Tackling the casualisation of work and the gig economy

Posted on April 10, 2017 at 03:05 PM

Too many people work without any knowledge of how much, if any, work they will have the following week. People need security and stability in their working lives.

There is a profound difference between flexible work arrangements that are freely negotiated, to mutual benefit, and multi-nationals hiring huge chunks of their workforce on low-hour, if-and-when contracts.

Part-time work, fixed-term contracts, agency work and, in recent times with the large-scale adoption of smartphones, the so-called gig economy, have been part of a trend of casualisation of workforces in many countries.

Those working in the gig economy make themselves available to provide service on an ad hoc basis in return for a fee which is split between the person who performs the service and the company.

Tech companies like Uber, Deliveroo, Airbnb and Handy are revolutionising the service industry, providing consumers with instant access to lower cost on-demand facilities at the swipe of a screen. The challenges for those working in the gig economy are monumental, with normal rights like pensions, holiday pay and decent wages often denied. 

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