The 'Gig Economy' - How is it transforming the world of work?
22 March 2017
Corporate blue-chips are turning more and more to ‘on demand’ or contract professionals rather than traditional employees – as the “Gig Economy” (the universe of online platforms where people buy and sell services and jobs) begins to impact on long established white collar certainties.
This is a major change in the way work is performed – a shift from having a job to performing tasks / projects – and working for a portfolio of clients.
There are big unresolved questions about the consequences of this shift, especially in terms of the loss of employment rights and access to traditional workplace benefits.
Financial and contractual risk that used to be borne by companies has been transferred to employees. Gone is the era of the lifetime career, let alone the lifelong job and the economic security that came with it – to be replaced by a new economy intent on recasting full-time employees into contractors, vendors and temporary workers.
The dream of being a Zuckerberg or Page can be just that; the average income from self-employment fell 22% in the UK between 2009 and 2014, even as self-employment contributed 732,000 of the 1.1m rise in total employment. The rewards of new forms of employment contract may accrue to a minority, while others lose out.
What is driving this phenomenon?
• For companies, is this a vital source of business-critical talent and a market for a more diverse and flexible workforce?
• For workers, does this satisfy a need for greater personal freedom and control?
How are companies preparing for the demands of this new business model and market for talent?
• What changed philosophy around people, new organisational models and structures does this imply?
• How do companies source, motivate, reward and retain the best ‘gig workers’?
• What are the different aspects of the new value proposition that an employer must offer?
• What technology is needed to underpin the new relationship?
What social and regulatory changes are needed to underpin this new economy?
• Will legislation be updated to match innovation? Is there a new category of “independent workers” with access to limited benefits?
• What is the new world of employee benefits, including healthcare and retirement provision?
These questions – and many others – will be addressed by our panel, prompted by questions
Reed Smith, Broadgate Tower, 20 Primrose Street, London EC2A 2RS