Tag Archive | "gig workers"

30% of Gig Economy Workers Have At Least Two Jobs

If you thought that having one job was enough then try having two. That is what around 30% of gig economy workers now have to do.

These so called “zero hour contractor workers” often find they are not making enough money at one place of employment, which leads them to seek out a second employer. This is according to a survey by a leading insurance provider.

What they found is that 30% have two jobs, while 7% have three or even more jobs, often working around the clock to make sure they get a decent pay cheque in their bank account every week.

The survey also discovered that 10% of gig workers also take on extra temporary work during Christmas time in order to make some extra cash. Who can blame them? Not me.

Do you know what though? In my opinion I think this is what the so called “gig economy” is all about. Gone are the days where you worked for just one employer…say hello to the new era, a time where you have the freedom to choose exactly who you want to work for.

Don’t like one particular employer? No problem, just fire them and move on. This puts the gig economy worker firmly in control if you ask me, to the point where they are the one’s calling the shots, not somebody else.

This also includes contractors and freelancers don’t forget, who have long been seen as the benchmark of independent workers who set their own rules. It now seems that many gig workers and zero contract hour workers are getting up to speed.

Not everybody agrees with me though, oh no, because not a week goes by without some politician or union member criticising the gig economy. They are entitled to their opinion of course, but I really do think they are fighting a losing battle.

Sure, they might be getting a lot of attention right now, but eventually people power will win the day, which means a victory for the gig economy, no doubt.

We are already starting to see the tide turn. It was only a couple of months ago when I reported on how Deliveroo won a landmark court case that allowed them to classify their workers as “gig workers” and “self employed.” Expect similar stories to follow.

Not only that, but I reckon we are going to start witnessing even more gig workers embracing getting two or more jobs.

Right now it is 30% of gig economy workers, but in only a few years times it could very well be 50%.

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162 Million Are Independent Workers, But…

The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed, AKA IPSE, recently looked more closely at independent workers…

What they found is that in the EU and USA there are roughly 162 million people of working age that take part in some form of independent work. That is approximately 20% to 30% of people who are working right now.

However, not all of these 162 million are full time professionals who work for themselves, oh no, the vast majority just like to dabble in the art of self employment.

The IPSE went on to estimate that about 49 million in the EU and USA are what you would consider those who work for themselves and make the majority of their income from that.

They went on to discover that out of these 49 million workers many of them have reported how job satisfaction and feeling of freedom is what motivates them to do what they do.

It’s not all plain sailing though, oh no, because there was a big but that was often found among these self employed workers, many of whom are freelancers and contractors remember.

What is this big but exactly? It’s the fact that many people who work for themselves find they have difficulty switching off and keeping their mind away from the office.

Compare this to your average traditional employee who very often leaves the troubles of the day behind at their place of employment, and you can easily see how it can be a problem.

Take this time of year as an example, the Christmas time, where most employees take a holiday away from work to relax and enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, many self employed in the EU and USA don’t do this at all, and according to the IPSE there are millions who work on Christmas Day.

That’s right, when so many people are tucking into their turkeys and pulling crackers there are millions out there who are still working away on their laptops and holding important conference calls with associates.

Sure, they might sit with the family for an hour or so to open presents and listen to the Queens speech, but…and this is a big but, are they really focused on having a good time and relaxing? My guess would be no.

The research by the IPSE went on to suggest that self employed people who are managers, directors and senior officials often have the most trouble switching off and enjoying Christmas, where they estimate around 800,000 in the UK have these kind of roles, which accounts for roughly 17 percent of all of our nations self employed.

I would also say that at the other end of the spectrum there are other self employed workers who also have a difficult time switching off and enjoying the Christmas festivities. For example, gig workers such as Uber drivers and online freelancers who might feel they have to take all of the work they can get.

If a client contacts them on Christmas Day are they going to turn it down? They could do, however, if they do turn it down then they could potentially lose out on a lot of work in the New Year.

The message here is simple. Yes there are a lot of independent workers out there, 162 million in the EU and USA, but…and this a big but once again, many pay the price for setting their own hours and being their own boss with the fact they have to be always available.

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40% of Brits will Never Retire According to Survey

In a brand new survey by experts, it was found that 40% of British people in the workforce believed they will never get to retire.

This isn’t because they don’t want to of course. No…it’s because they won’t have enough money to retire, which means they will be have to keep on working well beyond the retirement age into their 70’s and even 80’s.

In my opinion it isn’t just employed people that should be thinking about this, contractors and the self employed in general must also be planning for their retirement.

As I’ve talked about before on this blog, there are many contractors who simply don’t save any money for retirement and don’t put anything into a pension, instead, hoping to rely on the State Pension to take care of them when they get to 65.

Well, some news for anybody expecting to do this. For one, the eligible age for a State Pension is going up soon, to 67 I think, although many experts predict it could be 70 in the near future. If you still have 30 years to go until you are around retirement age where will it be then? It might very well be 80! That is if there is any such thing as a State Pension by that time.

Not only that, but a basic State Pension doesn’t provide you with much money on a weekly basis, and with everything getting more expensive it really is nothing more than spending money for most people.

That is why I am always telling contractors, gig workers, freelance professionals…whoever…you must be putting some money away into a pension or some kind of savings. If you don’t then you probably won’t ever retire, just like the 40% of people asked in the survey.

Interestingly, there was differences of opinion in the survey depending on where you lived. For example workers in London didn’t have much optimism about retiring, with 45% saying they will always be clocking in, while only 32% of people in Scotland agreed.

Maybe North of the border they know something that people in the capital don’t know? Or perhaps they are just more educated when it comes to saving money and being smart about pensions? I think that is probably right.

There are some contractors who don’t ever want to retire though, and in actual fact they would call themselves already retired.

These are the people that work from their laptop, working a few hours that suit them but using most of their time taking breaks to do things they enjoy. A good lifestyle if you can get it, but for most Britons this isn’t a reality.

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Ed Vaizey – “Minimum Wage for Gig Workers”

Tory minister Ed Vaizey has gone on record saying that freelance workers in the so called “gig economy” should be on minimum wage.

This of course comes at a time when the line between employment and self employment is not completely clear. Take the Uber situation for example, where courts are now starting to rule that their freelance drivers are in fact employed and should be guaranteed minimum wage.

I am going to disagree with Ed Vaizey here and for the simple reason that if you choose to be self employed then why should you be guaranteed anything? That is the chance anyone takes when they start a new business, go freelance, become a contractor or choose to be a gig worker, and if you don’t like the thought of it then get a job where you are guaranteed a wage. It really is as simple as that.

Uber workers knew what they were signing up for when taking on the role…a freelance position with an opportunity to potentially earn money…not a guarantee, and if you don’t agree with that then look elsewhere. If you want minimum wage then look elsewhere. Unfortunately, it seems people like Ed Vaizey just don’t understand this.

Instead, he has called for the government to give us a “definition of a new kind of worker in the gig economy” which he then went on to describe as a “halfway house” between being employed and self employed.

He’s wrong of course, and anyone with any kind of common sense can see this. Either you are employed or you are not. There is no halfway house.

If you are a contractor or freelancer benefiting from the gig economy then you are self employed, and the idea of a minimum wage is ludicrous.

As we all know though, many politicians are way out of touch with what is really going on in the world, especially the world of business, and once you give them any kind of power or input into the decision making process they have this amazing ability to get things completely wrong.

Once this happens, they hide away and try to pass the blame. It’s easy to call for minimum wage for gig workers like Ed Vaizey has, if you don’t have to take any responsibility when things go wrong.

The freelance world is now full of people who quit well paying jobs with companies like Google and Microsoft, in order to offer their skills in the gig economy, and are now earning more than before, while working less hours and living the kind of lifestyle they want to.

These people don’t need a guarantee of minimum wage, and if you do then I really don’t think being a gig worker is for you.

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