An estimated 5million gig workers need to be urgently included in income support packages

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Dear Chancellor,

Re: Our Open Letter on behalf of all fitness professionals and an estimated 5 million gig workers

Thank you for your work on behalf of our nation to help ease the transitory effects of the nation’s workforce, with the hope to get to the end of the COVID-19 crisis with a workforce as unscathed as possible. While we find ourselves in unprecedented times due to the spread of the virus, we appreciate you prioritising the current wellbeing and future health of our communities and the measures actioned with the Furlough scheme. 

We write as FIT.live, a tech company striving towards the physical and mental wellbeing of our nation at large through the provision of fitness and wellness live classes on our digital platform, allowing users to access such content live from the comfort of their home. We believe our platform is of particular importance during the current confinement measures. As co-founders of this fitness gateway, the very community of instructors, trainers and wellness facilitators that we have curated to provide our users access to their content at a very affordable cost, is at the heart of our concerns. 

As you know, a very large number of these fitness and wellness experts are categorised as freelance, gig workers, or are on zero-hours contracts, as a result of which very seldom only do they have a PAYE status. As a consequence of this, they usually are not eligible to be furloughed. While being some of the key individuals helping with general well being of the nation, they happen to also be some of those with the least amount of guidance during this time and aren’t as well protected under the new Coronavirus measures that the government has put in place.

We are naturally concerned about their wellbeing, as this crucially impacts their ability to pay it forward, at a time of great need. As far as our platform FIT.live goes, we are in no employment or partnership contract with them, yet we feel the need to stand together and step forward as their voice. These people are the ones that will be needed to help people get back on their feet when this crisis is over, as they have the expertise and motivation which only trained professionals can provide. 

As the recovery plans are enacted, we ask that you not forget about all professionals in our health verticals working as independent contractors very often, who seem to be currently somewhat overlooked. Health clubs, gyms and fitness studios have been forced to close, and their (mainly) independent contractors are unable to earn a living. Many of these instructors have responsibilities ranging further than the facilitation of wellness; some are the sole providers for their parents, family or children. 

As Chancellor, we believe that you have the power to strive at creating a framework to better uphold their protection during these times, and we ask that you do whatever is in your power to help. This would apply to all gig workers across the spectrum, whose growth has more than doubled in three years in the UK to a current total of approximately 5 million workers, who are now left in financial situations even more uncertain than the times we are facing. 

We thank you for your efforts, appreciate your time listening to our concerns and your attention to this request.


Sincerely,

AJ Joshi
Founder 

Tejen Barbezat
Co-Founder 

Sebastian Agren
Co-Founder 

FIT.live