Rides and responsibilities: Understanding the needs and preferences of those who work in the gig economy

Date
November 29, 2021
Issues
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This report builds a picture of the needs and experiences of those doing gig work and how they compare to those in more traditional forms of work. The findings have implications for how policymakers can address the concerns of gig economy workers, as well as for how the platforms should behave towards them.

Key findings: 7 things policymakers should know

  1. Riders are as happy as other members of the workforce. Three-quarters of current Deliveroo riders say they are satisfied with their work, broadly in line with the rest of the economy.
  2. Riders choose Deliveroo in preference to other work. The majority came from employment, with only one in five unemployed, on furlough or looking for work before starting on the platform. Most believe they could have found other forms of work if they wanted.
  3. Riders prize flexibility more highly than those in other sectors. 40% of current riders put the ability to choose their hours in their top five criteria for choosing work, compared to 20% of the general workforce
  4. Riders are motivated by money, just like the rest of the workforce. Most riders say they are satisfied with their earnings, and 57% believe that they earn more riding with Deliveroo than they could do in comparable work. 23% of riders say they are dissatisfied with their earnings, the same proportion as in the general workforce.
  5. Riders favour their current legal status, recognising the trade-offs it entails. Most riders would be unwilling to sacrifice flexibility or earnings for more generous benefits. The vast majority (91%) do not want to become employees, though most would like to combine self-employment status with more benefits.
  6. Riders can see Deliveroo as a primary source of income. While 60% of riders have other forms of work, nearly a quarter say over 70% of their income comes from riding with Deliveroo
  7. Riders see Deliveroo work as a long-term option. One in three current riders say they intend to still be riding with Deliveroo in five years’ time: one in five in a decade.