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Community and Labour Xchange partnership featured in Financial Times

Community - 28th February 2019

“We want the gig economy to work for everyone…”

The Financial Times has reported on the partnership between Community and Labour Xchange. Labour Xchange aims to link people who are looking for extra work with businesses who are looking for temporary staff.

The platform was founded by Jonathan Key, who wants to rebalance the relationship between workers and businesses in the gig economy. He’s determined to help more people find flexible work but where they also are guaranteed to be paid at least the living wage.

Jonathan told the FT:

“These are people who are desperate for work because they’re the ones where £20 extra a week is the difference between them eating and not eating.”

Community has invested in Labour Xchange and is offering three months trial union membership to anyone who signs up to the platform, so that workers are supported for whatever work they do.

Les Bayliss, Community’s head of special projects, said:

“We know that if people are using Labour Xchange, it probably means that all is not well in their day job. That’s why we wanted to ensure these people have support from Community from the moment they sign up.

““We want the gig economy to work for everyone. That’s why we want to work with businesses to ensure there is a better environment for workers, whatever their contractual relationship.

“We’ve worked closely with Jonathan and his team to ensure that workers using the platform are getting a good deal. That means the living wage and also making sure that workers get a permanent contract if a business wants to book them more than three times.

The service doesn’t charge workers to use the site but businesses pay £10 per booking and £150 if they end up taking someone on permanently.

Two workers who had found work through Labour Xchange, also spoke to the FT. One of them had gone on to secure permanent work with the business she had worked for through Labour Xchange. The other found getting flexible jobs through Labour Xchange meant she could also continue her work running a local charity.

So far, Labour Xchange has been operating in Southend-On-Sea, Lambeth and Southwark but is looking to widen its reach across the UK.

You can sign up to Labour Xchange by clicking here.