gig economy

21 Oct

london 1.50am 9.6C dry night. friday 2016

i was so sleepy at 9pm yesterday that i just went to sleep, knowing that i shall wake up in the middle of the night and throw all my sleeping routine out of kilter. and now here i am, at almost 2am wide awake. haha. now is the time when i am happy that i am not working and so dont have to worry about my having enough sleep to get me through a working day the next day.

i was browsing the news online and saw this in the guardian. about some workers in the gig industries, questioning their self employment status. 

CitySprint, Excel, Addison Lee and eCourier

The four firms are facing tribunal cases brought by cycle couriers working in London who argue they are not really self-employed. link

uber , deliveroo are in the same situation. 

Michael Newman, an employment lawyer at Leigh Day, said there were other “gig economy” businesses that depend heavily on self-employed workers. “There are other smaller businesses in different sectors, such as cleaning, that tend to go under the radar,” he said. “People who are working for these are likely to face the same issues of no holiday or sick pay, or not earning the living wage.”

it made me think of my bulgarian friend who has come to work here as a kitchen porter. he said he was hired by a recruitment company not by the hotel he works in. i wonder whether he is paid minimum wage or are they saying he is a self employed person. eu laws enforce strict working hours,only doctors and police are exempt, i think;  but if u are self employed all that does not apply.

you can see why these slave wages apply in the service industry, the catering industry, the cleaning industry, and all those courier and delivering services, uber, will not be sustainable if not for this. the eu is providing the work force, there are plenty of them coming here to uk to do those kind of jobs. i think uk will realise they will be needed and continue to allow them to come here to work. it means they will have to apply for work visas. i can see it will affect the way eu people can just come and get work here. will it mean wages will rise, because there are now severe shortages of workers? so those in work can earn a decent wage? that would be a good thing, but it might mean fewer businesses, eg restaurants etc being started and fewer job vacancies.

it is a paradox, low wages means more businesses will open, and more jobs advertised, and so attract more people come into the country to work, and this translate to  more customers to the businesses, and the cycle reinforces itself. high wages limits growth, and things stagnate or even result in businesses closing. it is the fine balance that makes for a dynamic economy. quite a big problem to solve, and certainly not a easy topic to deal with so early in the morning.

2 Responses to “gig economy”

  1. MELewis Friday October 21, 2016 at 7:43 am #

    I think the s0-called ‘gig’ economy is not just an issue in the UK. When I was laid off my full-time communications job in Switzerland a few years ago, I made the choice to set up as a freelancer rather than look for another full-time job. I believe this is the way of the future. There will be enough work for everyone, and the economy can grow, but we have to stop expecting that we will have a job for life. People need to figure out how to sell their skills, and society has to adapt to a more flexible model that provides enough compensation and social benefits to reward everyone sufficiently so that they can live, if not in luxury, at least comfortably.

  2. alifesgayventure Friday October 21, 2016 at 9:29 am #

    i wonder whether the call for giving everyone a basic income is the answer… i heard one country is doing it. forgot which one. the idea is a good one, in that if everyone is poor, there is no money circulating, the whole economy stagnates. that i think is what is happening in the poor parts of africa, asia. a small proportion gets a huge proportion of the money sloshing around,so that they are very rich, but the vast majority of their countrymen cannot earn any money. there is a bartering going on, but without the cash nothing moves.
    work is only a symptom of the basic thing that drives the economy… money… there must be a huge number of people with money to spend so that trade and services can go on. here in the uk, services have got so big that it is self sustaining… huge numbers of people need those services and can pay for it, and hire a large army of others to provide it, who in turn spend into the economy and require servicing themselves by people further down the chain.
    sounds like an ecology of big fish and smaller fishes eating each other, except in this case each group is both depanding and exploiting those further down the chain.

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