Coronavirus is going to have a huge impact on everyone in the country. After the victims of the illness, gig economy workers are going to be the worse hit in terms of finances. Gig workers are generally freelance or short term contract workers who work ‘gigs’. As Coronavirus spreads, the population is not behaving in the way that they normally would. So the people hit by this change in behaviour are members of the gig economy labour market like taxi drivers, or waitresses on zero-hours contracts, which are for all intents and purposes the same thing.
During the pandemic, there is simply not the same desire to go out, so fewer taxis will be used, and fewer restaurants will be frequented. Waitresses will be told not to come in, taxi drivers can’t find work. There is going to be a knock-on effect across everything. If there is no desire, there is no productivity, and therefore there is no money trickling down these workers. Human rights groups are out in force complaining that there is not enough protection for gig economy workers, and that their sick pay is non-existent.
The gig economy is great in times of plenty. It gives the worker flexibility, for one. However, not every gig economy worker has prepared for something like Coronavirus. This means that they have no funds and can’t find work. However, there is some scope for companies like Uber to turn their skills to delivering supplies as people hunker down in fear of Coronavirus. But in times like this, a gig economy worker will struggle.