Disloyal workers hold employers to ransom

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The Independent Online

One in 20 workers is disloyal, holding employers to ransom by demanding "fun" and fulfilling jobs and high pay, says a report by the Futures Division of the Industrial Society.

One in 20 workers is disloyal, holding employers to ransom by demanding "fun" and fulfilling jobs and high pay, says a report by the Futures Division of the Industrial Society.

It has identified an increasingly powerful group of "free workers" who have little or no loyalty to their employers but who have skills, talent and knowledge that are in demand and can thus pick and choose where and how they work.

In the past 10 years the number of free workers in Britain has grown 300 per cent to 1.4 million, or 5 per cent of the workforce.The figures are expected to rise to levels similar to the 16 per cent found in the United States.

In Britain, the lack of company loyalty is seen most in London, where one in 10 people in design, fashion, the media and communications works as an independent.

John Knell, of the Industrial Society and author of the report, Most Wanted - the quiet birth of the free worker, said: "Free workers are blazing a trail for everyone else and they will have a profound impact on the relationship between companies and employees. It spells the end of 'one size fits all' for employment contracts. Free workers know that companies need them more than they need companies... Crucially for employers, it is likely that other employees will soon echo these demands."

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