‘Now more than ever, in the midst of a pandemic, gig-economy workers need to be protected’

Nothing chills my blood like a phone call from an unknown number. My evening was rattled by the unfamiliar trill of an incoming call, too late to be a work call and not recognised by my phone as the number of the few people in my life who still ring unexpectedly in this day and age. It was a man in a supermarket who wanted to tell me they had no chicken fillets, and would drumsticks do?

It’s crazy in here,” he said over beeps and trills and clattering trolleys, “like Christmas.”

Since the start of this lockdown, I’ve been using an app to get my groceries delivered. Like most similar modern conveniences, it has almost eradicated the need to have any contact with another human being throughout the entire process. Stuffed bags of food appear to order at my door; I take them inside. At all times I felt like I was engaged in a fair exchange with a big, anonymous application designed to make a profit from selling convenience to me.