A new report shows more than half of gig economy workers in the UK are paid below the minimum wage.
The study, led by the University of Bristol, found 52% of gig workers doing jobs ranging from data entry to food delivery were earning below the minimum wage. On average respondents were earning £8.97 per hour – around 15% below the current UK minimum wage, which rose to £10.42 this month.
More than three-quarters (76%) of survey respondents also experienced work-related insecurity and anxiety.
Equally concerning, more than a quarter (28%) felt they were risking their health or safety in doing gig work and a quarter (25%) experienced pain on the job.
When asked what would improve their situation, basic rights such as minimum wage rates, holiday and sick pay, and protection against unfair dismissal were most wanted.
Lead author Dr Alex Wood, Senior Lecturer in Human Resource Management and Future of Work at the University of Bristol Business School, said: “The findings highlight that working in the UK gig economy often entails low pay, anxiety, and stress. As food, fuel and housing costs keep rising, this group of workers are especially vulnerable and need to be more adequately remunerated and better protected.”
In recent years there has been a massive backlash from gig workers, who are understandably campaigning for rights from their engager. It’s clear to us here at IWORK that the gig economy model only works if everyone in the supply chain benefits. If workers are underpaid, feel insecure in their roles and suffer from anxiety as a result of working this way, then it’s exploitation.