Friday HighlightAug 17 2018

How to support the gig economy

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How to support the gig economy
ByNatanje Holt

This is not a new problem, and the financial institution B&CE created a simple solution for this when it was launched in 1942.

The firm understood that construction workers – who tended to move jobs frequently and got paid weekly – needed an effective way to build up holiday pay.

Its simple scheme allowed its workers to purchase a ‘stamp’ every week, eventually building up a collection which they could cash in, and give themselves money to live on when they took holiday.

We’re also seeing new needs arising around education.

Continuous development and the ability to extend skills and experiences to new areas could be vital to cover gaps in income periods.

Given the current workforce is expected to be working later into their life, education may also be vital to re-skill people.

For example, in the construction industry it may be necessary for some workers to re-train in a less manual role later on if they are to remain in their current line of work.

Therefore, if learning new skills is considered an investment for future income opportunities, how might financial products be able to assist individuals in this process?

Could a savings plan be offered that would accept irregular payments in from an individual to fund current and future learning?

In other words, the payments in can flex and change based on earning patterns and will be linked to a workplace offering, so that the employee's learning policy is topped up as they work.

This could be a good alternative to help students avoid the student debt mountain that has become the norm.

Flexible learning and flexible payments methods would support students working and training at the same time, while avoiding large debts to building up.

The financial services industry needs to consider how and what products can be offered to this growing market and will need to work collaboratively with the government in order to make sure that large and growing sections of the workforce are not excluded from access to saving and protection products.

Natanje Holt is a retirement specialist at Bravura Solutions