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  • What is the difference between a gig worker and a temp agency worker? Jul 9, 2019

    The UK is one of the most flexible labour markets in the world, the second largest temp agency market in the world with more than 1.3 million temp agency workers contributing £32bn annually to the UK economy, and 1.1 million gig workers.

    This article explores what the difference is between a gig worker and a temp agency worker, as it can often be fairly confusing.

    1. Definition

    The gig economy is defined as "the exchange of labour for money between individuals or companies via digital platforms that actively facilitate matching between providers and customers, on a short-term and payment by task basis”.
    If you think gig workers, you most typically think about Uber or Deliveroo drivers, or people who can help you mount your Ikea furniture via the app TaskRabbit for example.

    Temp or agency workers are employed by temporary recruitment agencies, who place them on short-term assignments in a company.

    2. Legal status

    A gig worker is typically 'self-employed', while a temporary agency worker, is by definition, a 'worker'!

    This subtle distinction in legal status means that while temporary agency workers are entitled to the National Minimum Wage, paid annual leave, protection from discrimination at work, gig workers don't have access to these rights.

    This graph compares the legal status of employees, agency workers and gig workers:


    A number of gig workers are currently challenging their legal status andPimlico Plumbersand Uber drivershave recently been granted the status of 'workers' by the UK courts.

    3. Length of assignment
    The median annual income of gig workers is £375and only8%of gig workers use online gig platforms to find work as their primary source of income. The majority of gig workers use gigs as a way to complement their income, and 80% work on gigs of less than 16 hours per week.

    The average length of assignment of temporary workers on the contrary is 17 weeks.

    If you're looking to hire temporary agency staff and you don't have time to waste to call around agencies, TempaGoGo can help - it's an aggregator of temporary recruitment agencies, so that you can work with multiple recruitment agencies at the same time, and hire temp staff fast, at better rates.