putting together flat pack furniture

Can I get a job in the gig economy?

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The gig economy is a new way of working. Say goodbye to long trips to work. Live anywhere. Choose the hours you work. And if you’re looking for a job – you could get paid work in an instant. Does it sound too good to be true?

How do you get a gig?

In the gig economy, you work as an independent contractor. You sell your time to perform a gig or task. You could ride your bike to deliver food. You could drive people around and they pay you for it. You could help people put together their furniture. You could clean someone’s house. You could check the spelling in someone’s writing. The gig economy is made up of lots of people doing lots of small bite-size tasks.

In many cases, you don’t get to choose how much you get paid. You take what you are offered. Sometimes, you make a bid to complete a job. The lower the bid, the more likely you will get the task. But you will earn less money.

Man on bike delivering food

What can go wrong in the gig economy?

You are working as an independent contractor, not an employee. You are not covered by award wages. You don’t get sick leave or holiday pay. You also need to manage your tax, especially for ride-sourcing gigs like Uber.

Who can help me get a gig?

Here are some organisations that offer gigs. They take a cut of what you earn. This is not necessarily an endorsement, just some of the most popular ones I have found:

What else can I do to get a job?

There is another option. You could create your own gigs. Take a walk around your street. Do houses need painting? Do lawns need mowing? Do dogs need walking? Do kids need babysitting? Often big businesses start small. See what opportunities there are in your neighbourhood and you could be gigging in no time.

UPDATE 10 December 2018: Fair Work Commission says some gig workers could be employees

The Fair Work Commission (FWC) recently said Foodora needs to pay a worker $15,559 for unfair dismissal.

They felt that the worker was not an independent contractor. The FWC said he was an employee of the company.

This has raised questions about whether some gig businesses can survive in Australia.

Images: istock
Video: ABC News, 7.30 Report, 9 August 2018

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