Research to help inform the UK Government-commissioned review being led by RSA Chief Executive Matthew Taylor. The report focuses on gig economy participants who trade their time and skills through the Internet and online platforms, providing a service to a third party as a form of paid employment.


‘The gig economy has not, as yet, fundamentally changed the nature of work in the UK. Over the past 20 years, the share of people in permanent employee jobs has remained high by international standards and has not greatly changed.’

Summary of recommendations

In light of the growing challenges that technology and new business models are creating for the UK’s employment rights framework, there is a strong case for Government to proactively support organisations in improving their working practices. This report includes recommendations for the UK Government and case studies which highlight some of the challenges faced by some gig economy workers.

  • Consult on the demarcation between ‘employee’, ‘worker’ and ‘self-employed’ and how they map on to employment rights, tax and benefits
  • Run a high-profile ‘know-your-rights’ campaign with organisations such as CIPD, Acas, Citizens Advice Bureau and others
  • Give sufficient resources to the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) to monitor and enforce compliance
  • Increase resources available to Acas so it can proactively work with organisations to improve their working practices
  • Support the development of guidance on atypical working, setting out principles of good work and responsible employment
  • Increase public investment in lifelong learning to reverse the recent decline in investment in adult skills
  • Develop an effective all-age careers service

Download the report

To gig or not to gig: Stories from the modern economy

Download the report
PDF document 601.6 KB

More on this topic

Thought leadership
Could mismatch in desired and actual hours worked prompt early labour market exit?

We examine people’s desired hours and how this compares to the hours they actually work

Thought leadership
Pay awards set to fall in 2024 as employers set sights on the year ahead

The CIPD’s Labour Market Outlook – Winter 2023-24 reveals falling pay increase expectations for the first time since the pandemic

Employment status

Understand how being defined in UK law as an employee, a worker or self-employed affects employment rights and employers’ legal responsibilities

Atypical working: Guidance for employers

Practical guidance to help you identify and implement good atypical working practices


Explore our related content

Neuroinclusion at work report 2024

Find out about the importance of neuroinclusive workplaces, what employers are doing and the working experiences of neurodivergent and neurotypical employees

Labour Market Outlook

Read our latest Labour Market Outlook report for analysis on employers’ recruitment, redundancy and pay intentions this winter

Menstruation and support at work

This report explores employees’ experiences of menstruation and menstrual health at work and details how employers can develop a supportive culture

Devolution and evolution in UK skills policy

A report seeking common ground in skills policy across the UK’s four nations

All Reports