Independent Report Urges UK to Embrace Sharing

A couple of months ago, we reported that the UK government was ambitious to take a lead in the growing global sharing economy.

Today sees the publication of the independent review that was commissioned to examine the potential of the sharing economy, and the barriers to its growth. It makes a series of recommendations that would represent a step-change in the regulatory framework for sharing economy platforms, and the people that use them. We think it is one of the most wide-ranging and inclusive reports written on the sharing economy to date.

Among its recommendations are that:

“The Government should embrace the opportunities offered by the sharing economy, both to make its own operations more efficient, and to make better use of public resources.”

“Regulations must be examined to ensure they are still fit for purpose and meet people’s expectations – particularly for accommodation and online task-sharing platforms.”

“We need to support start-ups in the sharing economy – by encouraging experimentation and innovation – and sharing what works.”

In his foreword to the report, Business Minister Matthew Hancock said :

“The UK is embracing new, disruptive business models and challenger businesses that increase competition and offer new products and experiences for consumers. Where other countries and cities are closing down consumer choice, and limiting people’s freedom to make better use of their possessions, we are embracing it.”

The report also calls on companies in the sharing economy “to set benchmarks and standards of service in order that consumers know what they can expect when they use these services.”

We agree.

At Airbnb, we’ve worked hard to build a community based on trust and we’ve developed leading safety and security features, including the $1m (£640,000) host guarantee, a secure online payment structure, 24/7 customer support and a global trust and safety team. We are committed to ensuring that our approach to safety, quality and host information continues to set the benchmark.

We want to build on these tools and work with the UK government to ensure the sharing economy can continue to thrive. Leaders in the UK have already signalled their intent to craft new rules for home sharing and we are excited by the UK Government’s readiness to back innovators and this new economic engine. We look forward to working with them and our fellow members of the sharing economy on putting this intent into action.