EXCLUSIVE: 67% of gig workers would feel more engaged if offered benefits

67% of freelance workers would feel more engaged with attractive benefits

Just under two-thirds (67%) of gig workers would feel more engaged and positive towards the business if attractive benefits were offered, while two-thirds (66%) said they would feel more valued, according to research by Aon. 

The research of 200 HR directors and 300 freelance workers, published in July 2020, also found that if gig workers were offered an appealing health and benefits proposal, 67% of respondents would recommend their employer to a friend.

Almost three-quarters (73%) of women and two-thirds (66%) of men admitted that they would prefer a comprehensive benefits package. Additionally, 73% of women prefer location and convenience compared to 59% of their male counterparts. A similar proportion (74%) of women also prefer working flexible hours compared to 59% of men. 

For business to business functions (B2B’s) the most offered benefits are pensions (27%), sick pay (27%), training and development (24%), paid holiday (24%) and employee discounts (24%).

The benefits that gig workers value the most are training and personal development (23%), sick pay (23%), income protection (19%), life insurance (19%) and professional indemnity insurance (18%).

For business to consumer functions (B2C), the most offered benefits are maternity/paternity pay (29%), training and development (25%), critical illness (24%), disability insurance (24%) and private health insurance (24%).

While the most desired benefits by those that work in these functions being accidental death and disablement insurance (21%), income protection insurance (19%), training and personal development opportunities (19%), professional indemnity insurance (19%) and public liability insurance (19%).

One in six (15%) of both B2B and B2C freelance workers would desire to receive paid holiday entitlements, while 14% would value pension benefits.

One-quarter (26%) of HR directors in Europe believe that their workforce will comprise of 51%-75% of gig workers, according to research by Aon.

Additional research found that two-thirds (66%) of gig workers believe that it is important to plan financially for the future as well as enjoying their present time, while 64% believe that security and stability are important, additionally, over half (54%) are worried about their future and finances.

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Andrew Cunningham, chief commercial officer, emea health solutions at Aon, said: “If businesses want to continue to draw upon the responsive talents and skills of gig workers, they need a better understanding of the economic outlook that this group of workers will face in a post-Covid-19 (Coronavirus) world. The reality is, that the pandemic has already had a considerable impact on them. While some are operating our delivery services, food, transport and sanitation industries, and have proved to be vital to running our economies, the same can’t be said for white collar gig workers where the pandemic, in some cases, has been devastating for their work.

“Businesses should be concerned about their responsibility and duty of care towards their gig workforce. If we are to get the best out of people, gig workers and traditional employees need to be treated equally, regardless of their contracts. Both groups are likely to have similar concerns, financial pressures and commitments.”