Fuel prices have reached a historic high in the UK, so we should spare a thought for all of the gig economy workers who are suffering as a result. Gig workers who drive for a living, for example private hire vehicles, couriers, food takeaway deliverers, have no option but to absorb these higher costs in order to be able to work and earn an income.
The Gig Economy Project spoke to one such affected worker. Bryn Atkinson Woodcock delivers food in his diesel car in Sheffield, but despite working for both Stuart Delivery and Uber Eats, he has had to take on a third job driving for the local council, just to be able to pay the bills.
His daily diesel costs has risen from £65 to £90, but he tells the Gig Economy Project that rising fuel costs is just one of the problems he has had to contend with, as the price of his insurance has also shot up.
“The fuel crisis exacerbates the problem, but even without that the expenses are astronomical,” he says. “They must be the highest of any job in the UK.
“Maybe you can work 10 hours and make £100 a day, but if it’s going to cost you £30-£40 per day to make that, it means the job is way below even the minimum wage, never mind the living wage.”
He is relieved to have found additional work now, but says that when he started out in food delivery a few years ago he could support himself “on just one app”. The declining income in the gig economy has led many workers to get out of the gig economy altogether, he says.