22 March 2017 | Jamie Harris
The CIPD has called for greater clarity on the demarcation between employees, workers and the self-employed in the 'gig economy'.
It suggests that more guidance should be given to businesses on what constitutes 'good work' and what 'responsible employment' looks like, ensuring that organisations don't exploit the sector's workers - a group which has reached 1.3 million people, according to research by the association.
In its report, entitled To gig or not to gig? Stories from the modern economy, the CIPD surveyed 5,000 UK adults. Of those who identify as gig economy workers, most generally value the flexibility that the role gives them.
Only 14 per cent say they work in the gig economy because they have struggled to find more traditional employment, while 32 per cent say they use this type of work to boost income.
Gig economy workers are roughly as satisfied with work as people in traditional employment, research reveals, but there is still a lack of knowledge about employee rights and benefit entitlements.
The government has been under pressure to do more to regulate the gig economy to give employees basic rights, such as sick pay and the living wage.
CIPD recommends that the government should act on the challenges faced by these workers.
- Consult on the demarcation between 'employee', 'worker' and 'self-employed' and how they map on to employment rights, tax and benefits.
- Run a high-profile 'know-your-rights' campaign with organisations such as CIPD, Acas, Citizens Advice Bureau and others.
- Give sufficient resources to the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) to monitor and enforce compliance.
- Increase the resources available to Acas so it can work with organisations to improve their working practices.
- Support the development of guidance on atypical working, setting out principles of good work and responsible employment.
- Increase public investment in lifelong learning to reverse the recent decline in investment in adult skills.
- Develop an effective all-age careers service.