The ‘Gig’ economy describes the growing popularity of using workers on short term contracts on an on demand basis.
There of course several issues to consider:
- Are these workers really employees? or self employed?
- How should they be taxed?
- What rights should they have?
These issues are being considered carefully by the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS).
What we do know is that Self Employment has been growing in popularity as demonstrated by ONS statistics.
The level of self-employment in the UK increased from 3.8 million in 2008 to 4.6 million in 2015. While this strong performance is among the defining characteristics of the UK’s economic recovery, the recent rise in self-employment is the extension of a trend started in the early 2000s.
Full-time and part-time workers each account for around half of the rise in the absolute number of self-employed workers, but the growth rate of the part-time mode has been much stronger. Part time self-employment grew by 88% between 2001 and 2015, compared to 25% for the full-time mode. As a result, part-time self-employment accounts for 1.2 percentage points of the 1.6 percentage point increase in the self-employment share of all employment between 2008 and 2015.
What is also interesting is the split between male and female
Statistically Self Employed earnings are lower than those who are employed, however, Self Employed earnings are masked by fluctuating work patterns and the use of tax planning for example cars and expenses.
What are your views on the ‘Gig’ economy? is it good for Britain?