Just Eat moving staff full-time a blow to nascent gig economy sector, says GlobalData

Just Eat’s decision to classify staff as full-time employees will see a reduction in the gig economy space in the UK. While insurtechs that have typically capitalized on this sector may be provided with a rare opportunity to follow employees over, and offer benefits packages to what are now full-time staff, this once-growing insurance sub-market is expected to decrease in the short-term – with more serious consequences if other gig economy companies follow suit and this begins a trend, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Having seen a 44% surge in revenue in H1, Just Eat was one of the few companies to have seen growth as a result of COVID-19. The company will see high demand for jobs if it chooses to expand due to the large amount of redundancies seen in the UK.

Ankita Sinha, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Given the current market situation, consumers are likely to continue ordering in rather than to go out to eat. Even if the lockdown restrictions are being lifted globally, consumers are still quite hesitant to go out and dine. It is going to take some time for food service industry to bounce back completely. This is a very lucrative situation for companies such as Just Eat and Deliveroo. To sustain its presence and market share, Just Eat will definitely be looking to expand to meet consumer demand.”

Insurtechs have generally been strong in the gig economy space. Start-ups such as Zego and Dinghy have made great reputations for themselves in the UK gig economy.

Ben Carey-Evans, Insurance Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “GlobalData’s 2019 UK Consumer Insurance Survey shows that full-time workers receive significantly more benefits than part-time ones such as gig workers. The penetration rate of key products such as private health insurance, healthcare cash and dental plans, critical illness cover and income protection were around double for full-time workers. This is on top of the legally required lines of insurance. This shows that Just Eat will need to contribute significantly more benefits to its workers now they are full time to meet expectations. It therefore highlights an opportunity for employee benefits to work with a large and vastly growing company.”

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