MP calls for debate on “gig” economy

Charles Walker MP speaking in the House of Commons on the gig economy

Charles Walker calls for a Parliamentary debate on the “gig” economy.

Mr Charles Walker (Broxbourne) (Con)
May we have an urgent debate on the gig economy, so that we can ensure that those in long-term casual work have a route into permanent employment? During that debate, could we also recognise that that very same economy creates hundreds of thousands of job opportunities each year for students and young people, allowing them to earn money and wrap work around their studies and holidays, and providing them with the experience that carries them into permanent work? That experience is far from evil.

Andrea Leadsom
My hon. Friend has set out the fundamental dilemma clearly. The gig economy provides enormous opportunities and advances for those looking to get into work and who want flexible work. It has in part helped the extraordinary employment numbers, which show that there are over 3 million more people in work since 2010 than there were previously. On the other hand, it has great shortcomings, with insecurity and so on. The Matthew Taylor review highlighted some of those problems, and the Government will be responding and taking action to improve the rights of those in the gig economy. I encourage my hon. Friend to take this matter up in Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy questions on Tuesday 16 October.