Rides and responsibilities

Think tank: Social Market Foundation

Author(s): Aveek Bhattacharya; Jake Shepherd

November 29, 2021

This report from UK think tank the Social Market Foundation looks at the needs and preferences of those who work in the gig economy.

This report from the UK think tank Social Market Foundation looks into the experiences of those working in the gig economy. The gig economy is one of the most debated changes in the labour market, and remains a controversial political issue. For some, it offers novel flexible work opportunities; for others, it represents the exploitative nature of modern business practice. Amidst the furore, the voices of those that really matter – gig workers themselves – are often lost. The SMF has sought to fill this gap, by surveying over 7,000 Deliveroo riders, as well as carrying out eight focus groups, to better understand the needs and preferences of gig economy workers. The results were surprisingly positive. For example, we found that three-quarters of Deliveroo riders say they are satisfied with their work – broadly in line with workers in the rest of the economy – in spite of some widely acknowledged trade-offs.