Freelance News

In City AM this week, Sanjay Varma covers “The new normal” of freelance work, and how best to capture the momentum of the work revolution. More worker unhappiness with general 9-5 work combined with new tech that makes freelancing easier means people have the ability to work when, where, and how they want to. Varma admits, however, that there are problems with this lifestyle, the biggest concern being consistency of work, the “race to the bottom” effect, and many freelancers feeling underwhelmed by their lack of benefits.

Read more here. 

The Gig Economy

In the Financial Times, Sarah O’Connor praises the government’s handling of the gig economy, but notes that more work in the right direction needs to be done before Brexit in order to ensure that workers are given access to the rights they need. She compares agency workers on zero-hour contracts to “lumpers” in the 18th century, noting that the similarities in these systems make humans a cheap and flexible resource in low-paid sectors. The goal should be instead to find a market where employers see part-time employees as “an investment, rather than a resource to turn on and off at will”.

Read more here, after the paywall

In the Telegraph, Tim Wallace claims that gig employment is not actually as promising as many people believe, but instead just a way for full-time workers or students to gain a “top-up” of cash. He points out that in most households gig work accounts for less than 5% of their monthly income, and most use the system on offer to get their families and dependents out of tight spots. This shows that the flexibility that apps such as Uber and Deliveroo offer can be beneficial to many looking to make quick and easy money, but rarely used as an option for full-time employment.

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In the Mail, Tim Sculthorpe writes on John McDonnell’s vow to give gig economy workers such as Deliveroo riders full employee rights, including sick pay and minimum notice periods. This led to criticism from several sources, including Matthew Taylor, titular author of the review of workers’ rights, and Richard Laughton, Chair of Sharing Economy UK, who pointed out how Labour has failed the working population in several ways.

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Creative Industry

In City A.M, Josh Mines reports that tax relief for the UK creative industry drove £7.9 billion last year into the UK economy. Phillip Hammond claimed that the government is still strongly supportive of the creative community through more creative sector tax relief.

Read more here.