Chris Holden

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The Gig Employment Market

by Chris Holden - November 24th, 2015.
Filed under: Apps.

The last 10 years have seen a dramatic increase in the number of people working in non-traditional employment. There are more than fifty million people working for themselves or at a variety of gigs. Unfortunately the laws have not caught up to the shifting marketplace. Recently two initiatives have been announced that are attempting to improve the lives of those who do not have the security of full time employment. The hope is that these initiatives will fuel national debates.

These initiatives are being spearheaded by the leaders of many gig companies. The industries representative range from tech to in-home care to the independent drivers of Uber and Lyft. One initiative wants to make benefits like retirement savings and workers compensation portable in a similar manner to how the ACA separated health insurance and employment. The other wants to bring a stronger ethical framework to companies that primarily use contract employees.
The CEO of Handy.com, a service that provides home cleaners and handymen, is a supporter of the portable benefits letter. He has stated that he believes that government needs to create less black and white categories. Currently the system only recognizes two categories, either employee or independent contractor. Handy.com’s workers are a combination of the two. Rather than working a set schedule the contractors are sent out on gigs as the requests come in.
The app allows customers to pick a time for whatever service they need. There are professional house cleaners, plumbers, electricians, and general handymen available. Handy is not a house cleaning or handyman agency instead it acts as the conduit between experienced workers and clients.
Handy is a prime example of the new gig marketplace. It is not a regular employer of its independent contractors. The contractors can select whatever schedule they need. Because it has a pool of skilled workers there is plenty of overlap in availability. This gives both the customers and the professionals a wonderfully flexible schedule. It’s a new age of employment and government regulation will need catch up quickly.
For more information visit:
http://www.govtech.com/applications/Rise-of-Gig-Economy-Spurs-Calls-for-New-Workers-Protection.html

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