SCOTLAND’S gig economy workers have been the hardest hit by the coronavirus crisis across the UK, according to new research.

The average gig economy worker’s salary dropped by 9% in lockdown, but those in Scotland have seen a drop of 15%.

The research, commissioned by banking service Monese and carried out by YouGov, includes data collected from 1510 gig economy workers from April 23-29, 2020.

The results show the precarious financial situations of those working in the gig economy, with one in four (25%) having no savings at all to fall back on.

Almost three in 10 (27%) said they only have enough savings to survive for one month or less if out of work, with one in ten (12%) only surviving for up to 2 weeks.

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The data suggests that 1.6 million gig economy workers don’t feel safe working, but have no other choice to earn money. Almost 6 in ten (57%) don’t believe they are getting paid enough for the health risk they are currently taking to work.

However, the health of the nation was of greater concern than their own wellbeing. People said that they were more concerned about the impact the outbreak has had on general public health (61%) than on their own job or income (33%).

We often take the people powering our cities for granted. They are the engine room of the economy

The gig economy spans a range of sectors including transport, retail and food with five million people – or almost 16% of the total UK workforce – currently working in it.

Of those interviewed, almost one in three (30%) said that if they lose their existing job, they would take any job available just to stay in work.

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Norris Koppel, CEO and founder of Monese, said: “It is impossible to ignore the essential role millions of gig economy workers are playing in keeping our economy going at this critical time, at the sacrifice of their own health. Many of whom are currently juggling two or three jobs to make ends meet.

“It’s about time we recognise the flexibility, ability and resilience of these workers and I just hope that we will continue to appreciate all their hard work even once this crisis is over.

“We often take the people powering our cities for granted. They are the engine room of the economy.

“Perhaps for the first time, we can realise the role they play in keeping our cities moving and come together to recognise their monumental efforts.”