Published within Zurich UK’s ‘Restless Worklife’ report – based on UK-wide analysis from YouGov of over 4,200 adults, of which 603 were gig workers – the research finds that one in three (32%) hold at least two jobs, while one in 14 (7%) hold three or more. One in ten (10%), meanwhile, undertake seasonal work / employment during the holidays.
The research also revealed that more women have just one form of gig work than men (55% vs 42%), whereas more men hold three to five gig jobs than women (19% vs 11%).
The study, which is the first to use data from the gig economy, also found that flexibility and breadth of opportunities are the main factors for two in five (39%) gig workers choosing gig work. While a fifth (21%) admitted that gig work is the only type of employment available to them, and a further 14% say they undertake gig work to ease them into retirement.
Despite many enjoying the freedom of gig work, the main drawbacks were not having access to employee benefits such as income protection, holiday and sick pay; not knowing where the next job / pay cheque will come from (42%) and not receiving a workplace pension (31%).
Chris Atkinson at Zurich UK, says: “With Christmas approaching and people increasingly considering gig work to supplement seasonal costs, holding more than one role has become the norm.
“The benefit of gig work is that it gives people flexibility to boost their income, but it comes without the benefits that full-time employment provides such as holiday pay and income protection. This is why it’s so important there is more support available to gig workers to ensure they take steps to protect their finances.”
Earlier this year, the Government-commissioned review of employment practices led by Matthew Taylor, recommended a new status for gig workers as ‘dependent contractors’, an alternative worker status that would require gig companies to treat those who worked for them as employees – allowing them access to the same workplace benefits. The Work and Pensions Select Committee and the Business Select Committee have also announced that a draft Bill has been drawn up which would make ‘gig’ companies pay holiday and sick pay, realising that the labour market is “not working for everyone”.