This paper engages with important debates around social reproduction, gender inequality and the future of waged work in the ‘online gig economy’. It presents key findings from a British Academy funded research project, based on new in-depth interviews (Jan – March 2018) with 30 women using popular online jobs platforms in the UK (PeoplePerHour, UpWork, Fiverr, Elance, TaskRabbit, Copify, Freelancer) to access paid gigs in white-collar desk work (communications, marketing, business devt, HR, office support, web, design, graphics). The project explores the contradictions and hardships experienced by these women in relation to wage precarity, ‘management’ by algorithms, work-life conflict, and health and safety, as they seek to negotiate better work-lives via digital work platforms. Responding to conversations around the ‘post-wage economy’, this paper examines: (i) the multiple drivers (industry, welfare state, households and families) that have motivated these women to engage in online gig work; (ii) how far online work platforms digitally disrupt the historical wage labour relationship between ‘employer’ and ‘employee’ (all of these women either previously held formal employment contracts with employers, or continue to do so alongside online gig work as a means to retain some benefits as employees, especially maternity leave provision) [wage relationship between employee and employer also included series of employer supports for workers, these eschewed by platform providers who do not identify as employers but nevertheless continue to take hefty fees for their service (with no welfare return to taskers); and (iii) the consequences of these reconfigured ‘post-wage’ relationships for ‘employer’ and state support for female returners (limited maternity leave provision, sick pay, holiday pay), in ways that reinforce work-life conflict and stubborn gendered labour market inequalities [gendered constraints on women’s abilities to compete for work on platforms]. The paper opens up new ground, not least because the expansive work-life balance research literature remains strangely limited in its engagement with platform workers in the ‘Gig Economy’. A number of practical suggestions are made for improvements to online work platform models, based on suggestions from women gig workers.