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6 per cent of Brits use sharing economy to earn extra cash

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The sharing economy is now firmly embedded in the UK, research shows, as the public continue to adopt new ways of working and earning cash.

Six per cent of Brits now use sharing economy services to supplement or create income, with handmade marketplace Etsy, taxi/rideshare app Uber, and peer-to-peer lending service Zopa proving to be the most popular.

This rise of “on-demand” workers has been enabled by new technologies and platforms that provide marketplaces for people to monetise products and services and contrasts with the traditional “nine to five”.

Seventy per cent admit that they would consider working a less rigid working pattern – for example, where they would not have to work set hours every week or would not always have to be present in the office.

Only 13 per cent of people currently working a “9 to 5″ job said they would definitely expect to be working a traditional 9-5 role by 2025.

“We knew that the sharing economy was taking hold, but that fact that six per cent of us are already using these services to make money is pretty amazing,” says Rich Preece, Europe VP and managing director for Intuit, which conducted the research.

“We’ve always had a fantastic entrepreneurial spirit in the UK, but these platforms are enabling more of us than ever to explore new income streams and dramatically different working habits. There’s clearly a very strong demand to work and consume on-demand.”

Money, money, money

In addition to the many opportunities to work in a different way, the amount of money these workers have been able to bring in are also significant.

A third of those using the likes of AirBnB and Etsy to supplement or create income are making between £101 and £500 per week and 19 per cent are earning between £501 and £1,500 per week; three per cent are even making between £1,501 and £5,000 per week.

While many are successfully embracing the sharing economy, this still leaves the vast majority who are not: 64 per cent of those researched own but do not monetise their car, 54 per cent have but do not rent out their spare room and 51 per cent have buyable skills but don’t trade them.

Read more about Britain’s booming sharing economy sector:

With serious financial rewards available, the challenge is for those using these services to manage their earnings and the UK’s rather complex tax system, warns Preece.

“It’s easy to get yourself on the sharing economy; the difficulties come in navigating the minefield of tax regulation and administrative tasks that come from having non-salaried sources of income. It’s vital for individuals to have a plan and process in place from day one,” he explains.

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