The gig economy under discussion again…

At the Westminster Employment Forum, Hermes have claimed they are not like other gig-economy companies. Currently we’re not seeing how what they describe as their operations differs from other courier firms, and just a couple of months ago a report by the Independent outlined findings from the House of Commons Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee research with workers about their experiences made for pretty damning reading.

Interestingly Hermes state that they don’t believe many of their self-employed drivers would welcome a change in their status to that of worker. Similar findings were made by McDonald’s recently when zero hours employees were offered contracted hours and the majority declined the opportunity.

So what is the reality – are the majority of those working as zero hour employees or self-employed contractors in gig-economy jobs happy with their working arrangements or are they being exploited?

There is much to be said for offering flexible working opportunities, but the challenge is to ensure that it meets the needs of both employer and employee. Research to date would suggest that is not the case, however we’re yet to be convinced that a viable alternative has been proposed….

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