Davies, Julie and Horan, Mark (2016) Flexible work: how the gig economy benefits some more than others. The Conversation. ISSN 2044-5032

Self-employment is on the rise in the UK. The latest government statistics put it at 4.79m, which represents 15% of all people in work. And, in recognition of this changing nature of employment, the prime minister has commissioned a review of workers’ rights. One of its chief tasks is to address concerns that millions are stuck in insecure and stressful work.

Flexible working and self-employment are inevitable solutions to the growing “gig economy”, in order to best manage projects and fluctuating work flows. A flexible lifestyle may be desirable for the highly paid IT consultant. But for the call centre worker on a zero-hours contract, it means a pension, mortgage and income protection are all illusory.

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