The way Americans work is changing by the day as over 53 million Americans now work for themselves or work as freelance contractors managing to get by simply by becoming a jack of all available trades With Uber, Handy, and Lyft making it easier for people to work as contractors by using the sites to connect them to work people are choosing to freelance or at the very least supplement their incomes. However, regulations and laws to protect freelancers have not been able to evolve as quickly along with them.
Many companies allow those who depended on companies or businesses for work to now enter the market on their own. For instance, Handy.com is a new website/app that is rapidly building its customer and professional marketplace. Handy.com connects customers that need help around their home with trade professionals that can supply it. This can mean anything from house cleaners to plumbers to furniture assembly. If it is a trade job you can do with your hands then you can find help on Handy.com. Of course, on the flip side you can also get a job if qualified.
Independent workers are starting to build momentum however across the nation to help build a better workplace even in the independent workplace. This week two initiatives have bene announced that will help create stability and a social safety net that can coincide with the new flexible workplace. The focus is on creating a Good Work Code and portable benefits which are two things that independent workers do not enjoy currently.
The new coalition of contract workers is led by Greg Nelson who used to be an advisor to Obama. His group formed and released a letter signed by many of the top independent business ventures such as Handy Instacart, Lyft, Etsy and more. Policy experts, academics, and venture capitalists also signed it acknowledging the need for everyone to have access to a safety net regardless of how they are employed.
Handy.com CEO Oisin Hanrahan signed the flexible benefits initiative stating that he would love to offer more to his 10,000 professionals that regularly use the website. Right now the laws only distinguish between independent contract and employee, but in the future he would love for there to be a middle ground so that everyone gets a fair share. He said his aim would be to create a safe harbor for individuals that work with Handy.com.