The gig economy means a work style that accepts one-shot(one-time) jobs via the Internet. Uber Eats is a good example of the gig economy. That is a food delivery service which became popular under the corona virus restrictions. Workers who use the gig economy are called gig workers.
What is a difference between the gig worker and freelancer or part-time worker?
The major differences are in the form of employment and working hours. Gig workers are similar to freelancers in that they undertake one-shot jobs. But freelancers are required to complete their jobs, while gig workers can use their spare time to choose their work content and use their free time. It’s clear that part-time workers inside companies are completely different from gig workers because they have to work a fixed hours.
The merit on the company side is that companies can secure labor force only when needed by utilizing gig workers, based on the background of labor shortage due to low birth late and aging population. Also, the companies can reduce the wages and benefits of employees because gig workers are not officially hired.
The merit on the workers side is that, gig workers will be able to work flexibly while achieving a work-life balance because they can choose the place and time to work at their own convenience. In addition, gig workers can find jobs that maximize their skills by using the plat form to receive work orders. In japan, there are the growing number of companies that allow side jobs for employees, and gig workers are ideal for increasing income while working at companies.
As mentioned , the gig economy is a more flexible work that allows you to priorities the convenience compared to freelance and part-time jobs, but there are also problems.
First, if the number of gig workers increase, but the number of jobs from companies does not proportionally increase, there will be oversupply. In that case, wages per person will decrease, and there will be a large difference in income between gig workers and workers who work as full-time employees in the company. Gig workers are not covered by social security or retirement, so they have to protect themselves for the future. I think that if we promote the gig economy, we should provide some assistance as a country.
Secondly, there is a problem about the responsibility between the gig worker and the company. Since the contract with the company is an outsourcing contract, the gig worker will be liable as a self-employed in case of trouble. For example, recently in Japan, traffic violations by Uber Eats delivery person have become a problem. The delivery person cycled on a highway to get the food delivered quickly. Uber Eats argues that the company is not responsible because the delivery person is a self-employed. There are severe criticisms of how non-responsible companies are doing, even though they are making a lot of money.
In my opinion, the gig economy has many advantages both for workers and companies, and I think it should be expanded in the future. On the other hand, it also has serious drawbacks, so I think it is necessary to regulate and provide assistance to the extent that it does not become excessive.