Majority of UK gig workers paid below minimum wage – study

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According to recent study, more than half of British gig-economy workers make less than the national minimum wage at a time when the cost of living in the UK continues to rise.

The gig economy is a substantial and rising segment of the working population in which short-term flexible workers are paid based on the completion of tasks (known as gigs) rather than the amount of time they labor. As of the end of 2022, the UK gig economy workforce was anticipated to be 7.25 million, with one in every six persons in the country doing a gig job at least once a week.

According to a research published on Thursday by the University of Bristol, 52% of gig workers earned an average of £8.97 ($11.28) per hour, including food delivery, private-hire driving, and data input. This is around 15% less than the current UK minimum wage of £10.42 ($13.10).

More than three-quarters (76%) of poll respondents also reported feelings of uncertainty and worry at work.

“The findings show that working in the UK gig economy frequently involves low pay, anxiety, and stress.” As food, fuel, and housing expenses continue to rise, this group of employees is especially vulnerable and needs to be better compensated and protected,” study main author Alex Wood said.

According to the report, more than a quarter of respondents thought they were putting their health or safety at risk by working in the gig economy, and a quarter reported having discomfort as a result. Furthermore, 40% were concerned about losing their capacity to earn a living on their primary digital platform and becoming unemployed within the next 12 months.

“The self-employed who rely on platforms to make a living are in desperate need of labor protections to protect them from the sector’s massive power disparities.” “This clearly justifies broadening the current ‘worker’ status to protect them,” Wood said. “Not only is the work low-paid, but it’s also extremely insecure and risky,” he concluded.