Legal considerations of being a gig worker

By Christian Ayerst · Aug 7, 2020

Are you an “employee”, a “worker” or “self employed”?

An employee has more legal rights than a worker - who in turn has more legal rights than someone self-employed.

A gig-worker will typically be self-employed unless they can show that they are a worker (i.e. regularity of work, not working for another company, holding themselves out as a representative of the company by wearing uniform etc).

So whether you are searching for a London nanny role, thinking “I need a part time job” or are looking for office cleaning jobs in London - remember that how you are classified brings different employment advantages and disadvantages.

The tax man!

As a self-employed gig-worker you are responsible for making and declaring your own tax, national insurance etc. Not the employer. Make sure you keep a record of your earnings and find an accountant who can help you declare these properly!

Earnings from every job - from online data entry work from home to freelance app developers - needs to be accounted to the taxman! High paying weekend job? Lucky you - but declare it!


Gig-workers aren’t typically insured. That means - if you are ill, injured or can’t work - the company won’t offer you work and you won’t earn anything.

There are plenty of insurers offering gig-worker insurance which will cover scenarios such as these. They aren’t wildly expensive and worth investigating - they could cover your lost earnings in the event that you can’t work.

Insurance is also useful to make sure that you don’t become personally liable for claims. Care assistant jobs (London or anywhere) typically deal with vulnerable people - a good insurance policy means that if something does go wrong you could be protected against liability.

The team at gigl can point you in the right direction.

Getting Paid

Sadly some employers take advantage of gig-workers and don’t always pay them on time - or find reasons not to.

Whether you’re working from home, in a high-paying freelance role or in a high paid delivery job - it’s super important you receive what you are owed!

Make sure you are comfortable with the employer and - where possible - have in place an agreement stating how much you will be paid, the triggers for payment and when payment will be made.

How to trust an employer? Use a reputable platform such as gigl which only admits companies who respect their workers. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and make sure that everything is in writing.

I thought I was going to be offered shifts but I’m not getting anything...

Unfortunately gig-workers have limited protection here. They work when there is a job to be done - but employers don’t guarantee work.

However - the advantage is that gig-workers can do as many jobs as they want.

You’re looking for part-time work in as many roles as possible? Platforms such as gigl have many employers offering many different part-time and seasonal opportunities (at home and abroad), handyman services and online jobs etc. - so if you’re not getting any work at your favourite bar, why not supplement your earnings with some quick cleaning or restaurant work as waiter or waitress at a time to suit you?

I’m not feeling great and I have a booked a shift today...

If you’re a gig-worker then great - you can find a suitable substitute and ask them to work instead of you.

You will still be paid (and it’s only fair you give your mate what you would have earned!) but unlike being an employee or a worker you are allowed to substitute as a gig-worker.

Go and find a part-time job near me today! Our suggestion: start with gigl