Research to help inform the Government-commissioned review being led by RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor. The report focuses on gig economy participants who trade their time and skills through the Internet and online platforms, providing a service to a third party as a form of paid employment.

‘The gig economy has not, as yet, fundamentally changed the nature of work in the UK. Over the past 20 years the share of people in permanent employee jobs has remained high by international standards and has not greatly changed.’

Summary of recommendations

In light of the growing challenges that technology and new business models are creating for the UK’s employment rights framework, there is a strong case for Government to proactively support organisations in improving their working practices. This report includes recommendations for Government and case studies which highlight some of the challenges faced by some gig economy workers.

  • Consult on the demarcation between ‘employee’, ‘worker’ and ‘self-employed’ and how they map on to employment rights, tax and benefits

  • Run a high-profile ‘know-your-rights’ campaign with organisations such as CIPD, Acas, Citizens Advice Bureau and others

  • Give sufficient resources to the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) to monitor and enforce compliance

  • Increase resources available to Acas so it can proactively work with organisations to improve their working practices
  • Support the development of guidance on atypical working, setting out principles of good work and responsible employment

  • Increase public investment in lifelong learning to reverse the recent decline in investment in adult skills

  • Develop an effective all-age careers service

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