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A new focus on the gig economy -

10 April 2021

Delivery riders and drivers have helped keep many of us safe and sane while isolating and social-distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, but who’s looking out for them?

Victoria Pyta - Senior Psychologist, and Dr Neale Kinnear - Head of Transport Safety  write: 'While the roads have been quieter than normal since the start of the first COVID-19 national lockdown, there has been a growing army of gig-economy1 riders delivering takeaway food and van drivers delivering shopping and parcels. Supermarkets like Tesco experienced a rapid increase in demand for grocery deliveries and hired thousands2 of delivery drivers in a few months between March and May 2020. And food delivery organisations like Deliveroo have signed up tens of thousands of new riders3 over the last year, more than doubling their pool of riders. The service of these drivers and riders has supported large segments of our community with food and essential goods while doing our best to “stay at home and protect the NHS”. Sadly, their needs and safety are often neglected.

Read the full article here.

Further valuable information can be found in a UCL report, ‘ The emerging issues for management of occupational road risk in a changing economy: A survey of gig economy drivers, riders and their managers', includes a list of recommendations for companies using self-employed couriers and taxi drivers to limit the pressure drivers and riders are under.

An excellent PACTS Conference in 2019 brought together the key players in this sector , highlighting public policy, good practice, new research and technology and management practice.

 

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