Employment experts reveal missing link to improving gig economy

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With more Brits turning to short-term work, experts have revealed how to improve the effectiveness of the gig economy.

Recent figures show 4.4 million adults in the UK now either fully earn or bump up their income with ‘side hustles’.

But the system of securing jobs, getting paid the correct amount and companies verifying worker IDs still has room for improvement.

Alok Alstrom from gig economy platform AppJobs has revealed the steps that should be taken to make it more efficient.

Steps to efficiency

He said: “The growth of the gig economy over the past five years has been incredible, especially since the emergence of Covid.

“The pandemic impacted people’s lives to the extent that many left a traditional job and moved into the gig economy, which was a choice for some but a necessity to others.

“But that rapid growth has led to some areas where developments have not kept pace with the reality of working in the sector.

“Full-time company workers take things such as easy-to-access tax and wages information, and ID verification, for granted.

“But time and again we hear that these are the factors that make working in gig economy roles difficult, and even prevent some people benefiting from the freedom such a lifestyle choice should give them.”

Gig economy jobs

Gig economy jobs can range from anything such as food and package delivery to taxis and flatpack furniture assembly.

They have been hailed in some quarters as the future of employment – giving people greater flexibility in when and where they work, and the tasks they carry out to earn money.

But there are downsides to this, as outlined by Mr Alstrom.

He said: “The current system sometimes lacks a transparency that allows workers to navigate life with the ease they should be able to.

“Some of the main ones are where it comes to accessing credit by having a recorded earnings history that can then be presented to mortgage companies, for example, in order to buy a property.

Better ID verification needed

“ID verification is also a major problem – on both sides of the working relationship. There have been numerous occasions where fraudulent emails or messages have been sent to gig workers, scamming them out of money by unscrupulous individuals.

“Meanwhile, companies who use gig workers often struggle to complete identification checks efficiently, which slows the whole system down.

“Other factors include gig workers not having clear and accessible records of where they have worked and what they have earned in the past, to give them suitable information to present to financial institutions or future employers.”

Recent research, commissioned by the TUC union, found that 15 per cent of UK workers are paid by gig economy platforms such as Uber, Deliveroo and Amazon Flex. This has risen by three per cent since the start of the Covid pandemic.

AppJobs is one of the UK’s leading jobs platforms, matching applicants to flexible gig economy roles with companies such as Doordash and JustEat.

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