Flexibility and Fairness: What matters to workers in the new economy

Growing numbers of parents, students and over-60s in the workforce are driving more demand for flexible work, but most are currently forced into choosing between flexibility and stability.

According to the Flexibility and Fairness report, almost six in 10 Australian workers want jobs that would also allow them to juggle study, parenting, side-businesses, travel plans, or caring responsibilities.

The gig economy is a new source of flexible work that give workers a high degree of control over their hours and location of work. Unlike full-time, part-time or even casual employees, gig workers can earn income whenever and wherever they want.

This report is the first in Australia to combine Uber’s administrative data with demographic surveys to better understand the experience of tens of thousands of Australians who are using the Uber app as a flexible earning opportunity.

It found that almost eight in 10 driver-partners signed up to Uber because of its flexible opportunities – and three in five would not work at all without the flexibility the app provides.

As the gig economy becomes a larger part of the employment landscape, there is an opportunity to develop frameworks that better support both flexibility for independent workers, as well as the security and entitlements they value.

This report identifies a number of areas where policy reform could help facilitate the continued growth of flexible job opportunities through apps like Uber while also supporting safety, security, reward and opportunity.

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