Gig economy could still face financial exclusion

Gig economy could still face financial exclusion

Equifinance has argued that the ‘gig economy’ – highlighted in the Taylor Review – must not result in financial exclusion due to insecure employment, often on an enforced self-employment basis.

The review, published last July, proposed the creation of a new status of employee ‘Dependent Contractors’ – who should have employee rights. The government published a response to the review in February, but with consultations not due to finish until June, it may be a while before recommendations are implemented and enshrined in law.

The specialist second charge mortgage lender says this is important to specialist lending because, once a loan is taken out, if the piece meal work dries up or the customer gets sick with no statutory rights to sick pay, the customer is in greater danger of defaulting on the loan and being financially excluded in the future.

Tony Marshall, managing director of Equifinance, said: “Those working in the gig economy are still in limbo with regards to the security of their finances. Until we see enforceable regulation for sick pay, paid holiday leave and other employee benefits, the real risk is that more people will be trapped into enforced self-employment and, ultimately, financially excluded.

“However, with bad credit such as CCJs still on the rise, this is not going to be an easy task, but one in which the specialist finance sector must try to address.”

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