The survey of over 4000 British adults carried out by SAFERJobs, a joint industry and law enforcement organisation which provides free advice and protection for workers in the gig economy, was undertaken in response to the increasing number of labour market scams and exploitation being reported to the organisation by jobseekers in the gig economy. The poll found that despite their increasing prevalence 25 per cent of people thought social media platforms were the least safe method of job searching.
The findings were presented at an event in Parliament organised by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Crime and Scamming and SAFERJobs. Parliamentarians were invited to the event to learn about how they can work with local businesses and constituents to ensure that job seekers are protected from exploitation in the workplace.
The issue is of growing concern to policymakers as over the last two years there has been a 300 per cent rise in reports of recruitment related fraud and misconduct, with SAFERjobs receiving around 5 – 10 reports per day. The fraud can have financial implications for job searchers with individuals losing on average £4000.
Together, SAFERJobs and the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Crime and Scamming, are calling for UK businesses to sign up to become a SAFER Employer, which sends a trusted signal to job seekers when searching for new opportunities on commonly used platforms such as social media and job boards.
Keith Rosser, Chairman of SaferJobs, said:
“The rise of the gig economy has created new and flexible opportunities, but it is also presenting new risks of exploitation and abuse. The findings clearly show that commonly used platforms such as social media channels and job forums are also providing the least certainty for job seekers.
“Today, we are calling on UK businesses to sign up to become a SAFER employer to instil trust in job seekers and support us to prevent labour market exploitation.”
Kelly Tolhurst MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Corporate Responsibility, said:
“The UK Government is pleased to work alongside SAFERJobs to protect individuals from recruitment fraud and scams.
“With more people in work than ever before, now is the time to make sure that individuals and small businesses can capitalise on the opportunities that our strong economy has brought, whilst ensuring that they remain safe throughout the recruitment process.
“I am pleased that the issue is being highlighted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Crime and Scamming and would encourage all businesses to sign up to become a SAFER Employer.”