The gig economy has grown exponentially
over the past decade. With flexible work hours and independence, it is no
question why freelance work is becoming more attractive to many. According to a
2017 BLS survey, 36 percent of the workforce relied on gig work for some
portion of their income in the United States. This number is expected to grow
to 43 percent by the end of 2020.
has made it easier for workers to find gigs and employers to find workers.
Technology also removed geographical barriers fueling the need for global
payment solutions. Globally, the gig economy now “represents $2.7
trillion in annual
However, with rapid growth
comes challenges for businesses looking to pay gig workers, especially when
their workers are across borders. With the gig economy expected to grow by 17.4% through 2023, businesses need to adapt to meet the
payment demands of gig workers to remain competitive. So how can businesses
adjust their operations and strategies in order to meet these changing customer
Economic and Regulatory Considerations
Thanks to the emergence of online digital platforms, it has
become easier than ever to connect workers to employers. With shifting demographics
and ages of workers, industries are being forced to adapt to the changing
workforce and even more so, provide cross border payments to international
freelance workers. Although the North American payments industry has been
traditionally slow to react to market shifts, growing demand is putting
pressure on government and businesses alike to meet customer demands. Now,
questions are being raised surrounding worker rights, benefits, payments and
Some government bodies are taking note on how to best
support, identify and manage gig workers, many of whom are utilizing freelance
work as full-time income. Recently, states such as California, implement law AB
5 to protect workers and deliver them proper worker incentives. It is no
question that this growing section of workers are gaining the attention of law
makers to ensure they are fairly paid.
Aside from the impact of new industry regulations, economic
instability and market uncertainty is weighing on businesses who rely on
freelancers globally. 85 percent of gig employees, whose
primary source of income is gig work, worry about the impact of an economic
recession. Thus, the need for gig companies to look at a seamless payment
experience for gig workers.
Gig workers want to be paid immediately
after they complete their gigs. More and more we are seeing freelance workers
demanding immediate access to their financial information in addition to
on-time payments. So how can businesses meet the demands of their global
independent workforce? Partnering with payment providers who understand the
needs of gig companies and gig workers and can offer customized methods of
payment based on the regional preference of the gig worker is a must.
For example, unbanked gig
workers prefer e-wallets and card payouts. Amazon sellers prefer account
numbers and IBANs in their names to receive payouts in various currencies.
Vacation property owners prefer payment by wires. Some temporary works prefer
cash in some parts of the world. Others prefer to receive payment by bitcoin or
Ethereum. Having key payment partners who can offer businesses the ability to
pay their independent workforce in their preferred method and on-demand will ensure
businesses stay ahead of the curve in a very competitive gig economy.
Finding the right payments
partner can feel like a monumental task where there’s always a catch. Choosing
the right partners will also help ensure your gig workers remain loyal to your
platform and are ultimately satisfied with your service offerings.
Global payment processing can
reduce profit margins if businesses don’t do their due diligence when selecting
a payments partner that best suits their needs. Large banks such as Chase and JP Morgan are built on
top of legacy platforms, which themselves were built on legacy platform and can
hold payment restrictions. The systems can’t talk to each other. Banks don’t
have the technology to service. Therefore, it’s crucial for large FIs to
partner, fund, and acquire Fintech companies built on technology from the
ground up to service customers.
Companies such as Upwork, Lyft
or AirBNB that primarily rely on gig workers to keep their businesses growing
might be best served by working with a payments partners that make sense from a
business operational standpoint. Top things to consider in finding the right
partner include the types of services offered such as their expertise in
addressing challenges of meeting local payment dynamics, payout options and
currencies, global access, compliance, licensing, convenience, and most
importantly customer service.
Each organization has different needs and desires. In the
end it’s simple, gig workers want control over how, when and where they get
paid. Gig companies need to realize that the right payments provider will need
to understand these key considerations and pain points for workers in order to
meet the demands of this growing industry. More and more businesses need to
ensure their customers are satisfied and they are staying relevant among
growing industry competition by providing gig workers what they need – efficient
and accurate payments.
Dowd is the CEO of moneycorp North America and is a 35+
year veteran of the foreign exchange and payments industry as well as a
certified treasury professional (CTP). His extensive industry experience
includes 25 years with Travelex Global Business Payments, where he was a member
of the North American Executive Board, 6 years with Cambridge Global Payments
where he was Managing Director and 3 years with Currency Exchange International
and its wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary Exchange Bank of Canada as Senior Vice
President, North America.
Bob joined moneycorp in April 2019 where he
oversees the overall business in the United States. His focus is on the
development of strategic plans, business development, marketing, platform and
application innovation, providing clients and its partners integrated, foreign
exchange services for both the US while exploring opportunities for expansion
in the Canadian market.
Former Disney musicians get new gig with Jolly Creek Society Orchestra
KISSIMMEE, Fla. – On Oct. 3, members of the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra played their last gig together at Hollywood Studios in Disney World.
It was the last performance after more than three decades at the Grand Floridian Resort, where they entertained guests since 1988. But this holiday season, the gang is back on stage only at a different venue.
“Before you would call our orchestra Grand and now, I would call our orchestra jolly ‘cause we are the Jolly Creek Society Orchestra,” Davy Jones, a trumpet player, and interim band leader said about their new opportunity to bring some smiles at the Jolly Creek Festival and Marketplace in Kissimmee.
“After losing our position at Disney, we were so fortunate to be offered this because now we can play together again. We get to pursue our livelihood and all our friends get to come out and see us,” Jones said.
Jones, who has been with the orchestra since day one, recalled how special and significant their time at the Grand Floridian was.
“Over those years, all of us in the band got to make friends with all the guests that came through. Seeing a lot of them come back the next year with their kids and then later with their grandkids,” he said.
Now they’re looking forward to creating new memories with guests who’ll be enjoying the Jolly Creek Festival.
“It’s turned out to be a wonderful thing for us and we can’t thank the staff here at Jolly Creek enough,” Davy said. “Music is life. And it’s our life, it’s what we think of when we wake up in the morning.”
Jones said the orchestra couldn’t be more grateful for this opportunity to do what they love again on stage.
“We’re all lifelong musicians, this is what we do for a living, this is our passion,” he said. “Making music with people you care about and that’s what our band is-is a group of friends that has been able to hang together after the Disney job so we’re just happy for it all.”
The festival was created to keep live entertainment alive during these uncertain times for the industry. Jolly Creek has contracts with more than six Central Florida entertainment acts and production companies.
“They have reached out to the entertainment community, almost all the employees here are from Disney, Universal, different theaters,” Jones said.
From now through Jan. 1, the orchestra will be delighting guests in a winter wonderland setting every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. A portion of the proceeds will go to Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida.
Guests are required to wear face-coverings throughout the festival and are expected to maintain social distance.
For information on tickets and pricing, click here.
Copyright 2020 by WKMG ClickOrlando – All rights reserved.
GigSmart saw 460% jump in gig work postings since pandemic began
- GigSmart, a mobile staffing app, saw a 460% increase in hourly gig postings since March, even as companies closed down and laid off workers due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a Nov. 17 announcement from the company.
- Many of the placements were in construction, food service and warehouses — all industries hard hit by the pandemic lockdowns.
- GigSmart also increasingly had its workers placed in healthcare, particularly at senior living facilities, the announcement said. “We have a high turnover rate because it can be a challenging environment to work in,” Susie Stebbins, director of HR for Senior Housing Options, said in a statement.
GigSmart’s sharply rising usage numbers reflect one avenue for talent management post-pandemic. A June Gartner report noted that changes to workplace protocols instigated by the pandemic may lead to an increase in contingent work, something that could shape people strategy for years to come. Employers turn to contingent hires to save money and improve efficiency, Gartner said — key considerations during the pandemic era.
Changes wrought by COVID-19 only heightened current trends in the contingent work space. A February PeopleReady report said that gig workers were aiming to take on more work in 2020. And a September 2019 Randstad survey said that 1 in 4 companies were replacing employee positions with contingent jobs in an attempt to remain agile in a tough market.
Before the pandemic, employers more broadly were shifting to what Randstad called a total talent management model — “an organization’s acquisition and management of all human talent, including permanent hires and contingent workers, as well as non-human talent such as robots, AI, software, and automation.” That shift comes with its own challenges; back in 2018, companies were still figuring out how to organize people data and understand exactly who worked for them.
Gig economy ‘crisis’ needs basic regulation: TWU
The gig economy is in “crisis” and there is a need for urgent action from the federal government after the deaths of five delivery riders in Australia in the last two months, Transport Workers’ Union national secretary Michael Kaine said.
On Monday night an UberEats rider died following an accident on a road in Sydney’s CBD. He is the fifth delivery rider to die on Australian roads in just the last two months.
The recent tragedies have reignited calls for the federal government to step in and regulate the gig economy, especially on the definition of employee and private contractor, to ensure gig economy workers are afforded the same benefits and protections employees receive.
The federal government has largely brushed aside concerns and said regulation of the gig economy is a matter for state governments.
With four of the recent deaths happening in Sydney, the New South Wales government has this week established a taskforce to investigate if improvements are needed to improve the safety of delivery riders, while the Victorian government considers to consult on the final recommendations of its inquiry into the on-demand economy.
This push for federal regulation is being driven by the Transport Workers’ Union, which has been bringing attention to the recent deaths and campaigning on the issue for several years.
Its national secretary, Mr Kaine, said action is needed to better protect workers in the gig economy, especially delivery riders.
“We’re now in a position where it’s quite clear there is a crisis here. Workers are under incredible pressure – they are left to their own devices, they’re not trained and they’re given no protective equipment to support them when working,” Mr Kaine told InnovationAus.
“They’re left at the whim of a company and an algorithm. They have to answer jobs in seconds and if they fail to do that they can be kicked off the platform. There’s a perfect storm against them – it’s a recipe for disaster. The time has come for urgent action.
Delivery riders are not given adequate training, proper safety gear or provided with insurance, and their families are not afforded compensation, Mr Kaine said.
The TWU this week wrote to federal Workplace Relations Minister Christian Porter calling for an urgent inquiry into food delivery companies such as UberEats.
“We’ve written to him before and he simply relies on the old fashioned notion of employee and independent contractor. The time has come in the modern economy to accept that is not good enough. We’ve called on him to lodge an urgent inquiry to investigate UberEats and other food delivery platforms,” Mr Kaine said.
The federal government should also establish a tribunal to inquiry into the gig economy and hold the tech companies to account, he said.
In response, Mr Porter said that the safety of delivery riders is a matter for state governments, but rider safety will be included as a priority agenda at the next meeting of national work health and safety ministers.
“Every worker, no matter how their employment arrangements are structured, has the right to a safe working environment and to come home to their families at the end of each day. For delivery riders, maintaining that safe work environment is a state and territory government responsibility,” Mr Porter said in a statement to InnovationAus.
“However, it is clear that a problem exists in relation to delivery riders and changes need to be made by state and territory governments to prevent further injuries or loss of life. While the Commonwealth has no direct authority to make changes in this area, it can play a leadership role on issues such as this.”
But Mr Kaine said that while state governments have a “residual function” in schemes such as worker compensation, the federal government can take action.
“We’re now getting to the stage where this inaction has shifted responsibility onto government. You can’t continue to ignore circumstances where workers are exploited and they’re literally dying and avoid responsibility and accountability to the community for that,” he said.
“We’ve been saying this for a very long period of time and the response we’ve been getting back is dismissive, and falls back on ancient notions of artificial legal labels and that’s not going to do the job in the modern economy. This federal government needs to get up to speed, to come into the 21st century and figure out what it is they need to be doing to make a difference.
“This is an indictment on the federal government that they are so ideologically paralysed that they can’t see what’s right in front of them – reform is needed.”
Shadow workplace relations minister Tony Burke said the federal government does have a role to play in regulating the sector and protecting delivery riders, and the claim that those completing this work are independent contractors “denies reality”.
“It’s not safe and it needs to be, it’s not secure work and it needs to be and we can’t have a situation where for the sake of convenience we put up with there being a section of the Australian workforce that effectively has no rights,” Mr Burke told ABC News.
“It’s chilling. When you think that the responsibility for their safety is being governed not by an employer but by an algorithm, that’s how they’re working. When they work, whether they work, when they get a shift and how quickly, it’s all being governed by an algorithm.”
At the state level, the NSW government this week launched a new taskforce to investigate whether the recent deaths of delivery riders in the state could have been avoided and if better protections are needed. The taskforce will be led by SafeWork NSW and Transport for NSW.
The inquiry will also inform another piece of research being conducted by the Centre for Work Health and Safety, which is examining potential regulatory reforms to improve safety in the gig economy.
In Victoria, a two-year inquiry into the on-demand workforce, led by former Fair Work Ombudsman, recommended earlier this year that the federal government take the lead on a number of significant reforms to the gig economy, including clarifying the worker status issue, a new agency to facilitate streamlined support and fast-tracked resolutions and a code of conduct.
“It was the universal view of those participating in the inquiry that any change should be led nationally. Reforms confined to a single state risk creating yet more complexity and inconsistency and could impose an unnecessary regulatory burden on national businesses,” Ms James said in the report.
“The Commonwealth is therefore best placed to deliver genuine choice, fairness and certainty for workers and business. The inquiry suggests it should grasp this opportunity to deliver the recommendations set out in this report and make balanced and fit-for-purpose revisions to the current system.”
Consultations on the final report from the inquiry closed in October, with the Victorian government now considered these and the report’s recommendations.
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