From odd jobs to ridesharing, more people sell their skills and time on collaborative platforms. For some, this activity supplements a steady income. For those unemployed (and underemployed), small tasks and work activity through collaborative platforms constitute their primary source of income.
As more people enter micro-entrepreneurship, precarious and piece work becomes increasingly commonplace. Increased competition among micro-entrepreneurs sparks bidding wars that consistently descend below minimum wage.
The government raises the limit for non-taxable income, yet income tax evasion becomes more prevalent. Unemployed people are encouraged to join collaborative platforms, but risk losing benefits if deemed too successful.
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- Since 2000, the number of businesses established with no employees and operating under the VAT registration turnover threshold of around £80,000 has almost doubled to around 2.7 million.
- The number of people who declare themselves to be self-employed (including owner-managers and other forms of trading outside an employee structure) is currently the highest it has ever been – 15 per cent of the workforce, or 4.6 million people.
- The rate of self-employment will likely increase as awareness spreads so that one in four of the workforce will not be employees in the next decade.
- At present, workers on average state they would like to work an additional 12 hours a week – equivalent to an extra 43 million hours across the economy as a whole.