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The fate of gig workers could turn on ballot question – Red Bluff Daily News

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Become an employee with full paid benefits, or remain a mostly independent gig worker? That debate’s raging in California as November’s general election approaches, and its outcome is likely to affect the entire country.

According to The Washington Post, “Uber, DoorDash and other gig economy companies are bombarding TV airwaves, social media and even their own apps with ads and marketing materials promoting a ballot initiative [Proposition 22] that they say would improve drivers’ financial situation and working conditions but that would also deny them the right to be classified as employees in California.”

Proposition 22 would give gig workers limited benefits and wage and worker protections, but establish them as an independent class of workers – and undo a 2019 California law, Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), that “would guarantee drivers access to the minimum wage, employer-provided health care and bargaining rights.”

I’ve long been self-employed, with the exception of some recent cybersecurity consulting contracts in which I was paid as a full-time employee with benefits, but that’s been my choice.

Being fully self-employed is not for the faint of heart. Besides cybersecurity consulting and writing a newspaper column, I have an apartment-rental business. I recently earned a real estate license and am selling properties, too.

I manage my own invoicing and taxes. I know to the penny – once my CPA explains it to me and I drop whatever mug of coffee I’m holding – how high my income taxes are. Few employees are aware of how much they pay in taxes or what their benefits cost their employers – which would be helpful to know before voting for new government policies that will increase both.

I manage my own health-care insurance, which has gotten plenty expensive in recent years for individuals who don’t qualify for subsidies, in part because of government attempts to expand health insurance to everyone.

But, again, I choose to be self-employed. I like the freedom it provides. But it also makes me keenly aware of the unintended consequences of government regulations and policies.

California’s 2019 AB5 law would require Uber, for instance, to hire drivers as full-time employees with health insurance, paid sick leave and other benefits. Benefits are wonderful, but come at a price.

Uber claims that “if the company were forced to make all drivers across the country employees, for example, it could only support 260,000 full-time roles,” reports The Post. “That compares to 1.2 million active drivers the company was hosting on its app before the coronavirus pandemic.”

Uber also says fares would increase and drivers would be less available and timely – which means you might have to wait a while for your ride home to arrive after a night of enjoying the pub.

What it comes down to is that some politicians believe individuals shouldn’t have the freedom to exchange their skills and services for money from organizations, because organizations take advantage of those individuals. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris support AB5, not the watered-down Proposition 22.

Others think that in a free society, individuals should be able to offer their professional talents to anyone willing to pay for them, and government shouldn’t restrict the terms they negotiate. President Trump’s campaign supports that approach and is critical of AB5 (but has not, to my knowledge, supported Proposition 22).

That’s something else to think about when you vote in November’s election.

Tom Purcell, author of “Misadventures of a 1970’s Childhood,” a humorous memoir available at amazon.com, is a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review humor columnist. Send comments to Tom at Tom@TomPurcell.com.

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MSIG Singapore pilots plan for gig workers

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The policy starts from $6.89 for a weekly basic plan.

MSIG Singapore has floated Freelancer CashPlus, an insurance plan that dispenses daily cash benefits to help gig workers safeguard against income loss during hospitalisation or prolonged medical leave, a statement read.

The policy offers two plan types and starts from $6.89 for a weekly basic plan. Clients can choose from weekly, monthly or annual policy for up to 60 days of cash benefits pay-out.

Policyholders can receive a daily income benefit of $120 per day or up to $7,200 under the higher-tiered elite plan.
 

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PRO Unlimited Announces Top Market Trends in the White-collar Gig Economy | 2020-12-01 | Press Releases

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SAN FRANCISCO , Dec. 1, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — PRO Unlimited , a global innovator of contingent workforce management software and services, today announced the top jobs market trends in the skilled, white-collar contingent (i.e. non-employee, contractor, consultant) landscape in 2020 based on year-over-year company data. Utilizing the company’s largest client data sets across hundreds of enterprises and thousands of job titles, PRO examined how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted contingent labor hiring across industries, demand in job roles and hot growth markets nationwide.

PRO Unlimited offers solutions for contingent labor management, 1099/co-employment risk management, & third-party payroll for client-sourced contract talent.

“There’s a strategic shift happening where employers competing in a war for skilled specialty talent have accelerated their adoption of contingent labor – and it’s not only “gig” app and blue-collar jobs anymore. In fact, 40% of all white-collar workers fall into this category,” said Kevin Akeroyd , CEO of PRO Unlimited. “At the same time, business professionals are embracing this type of work. Not only does this new contingent economy offer increased flexibility and high-paying white-collar jobs, but employers benefit from a more diverse talent pool, greater innovation, better fiscal management and much more. By late-2021, we expect over half of skilled workers will be contingent and employers will need to successfully manage this expanding workforce as part of their overall human capital strategy.”

Utilizing PRO’s deep industry insights and historical client data, the company compared hiring patterns in the contingent industry that occurred as a result of the COVID pandemic to that of the 2008 Great Recession.

Highlights include:

COVID-19 pandemic impacts contingent hiring harder and faster than the 2008 Recession, but it rebounded much more rapidly:

  • While contingent hiring declined 56% in the first half of 2020 – a much larger and faster drop compared to the 2008 Recession – it quickly returned to pre-COVID levels by July and hiring was 9% higher year-over-year by September.
  • Contingent hiring and the economy overall is recovering faster now than it did from the 2008 Recession. Contingent hiring historically recovers quicker than the overall U.S. labor market coming out of recessions.

“The onset of the pandemic in early 2020 and the high amount of uncertainty from an economic perspective sent employers into crisis mode. Many of them announced hiring freezes and layoffs. As such, we saw a decline in contingent hires, but it quickly rebounded and increased higher than pre-pandemic levels. We expect contingent roles will replace many full-time, white-collar jobs going into next year,” added Akeroyd .

Demand increased for IT/technology, healthcare and professional services, while manufacturing and industrial positions have dropped significantly

  • The hottest industries for contingent hiring in 2020 were IT/technology, healthcare and professional services. Contingent labor hiring in healthcare was least impacted by COVID.
  • Jobs in IT/technology, healthcare and professional services have increased significantly in demand from 2019 to 2020 , while industrial, manufacturing and administrative positions have declined. For example:
    • Hiring of IT analysts, who provide tech support within companies, is up 43% , as is the use of data engineers ( 31% ), IT/tech project managers ( 23% ), marketing managers (18%) , clinical pharmacists ( 18% ) and designers (9%) .
    • Jobs on the decline include administrative assistants at 51% , assembly specialists at 69% , and manufacturing associates at 32% .

White-collar gig workers look for the highest monetary bidder in their job searches, while culture and company values are less of a priority

  • According to a client survey commissioned by PRO among contractors, 40% of respondents say monetary compensation is by far the most valued factor in their job search.
  • Less valued factors include the opportunity to convert to a full-time employee ( 19% ), unique project opportunities or skill-building ( 14% ), and company values/culture ( 8% ).

U.S. cities like Nashville , Charlotte and Indianapolis are emerging as hot growth markets for jobs — in fact, hiring is stronger than it was pre-COVID

  • Salt Lake City , Denver , Austin and Hartford were all cities that were already “anointed” as metros that were poised for growth pre-pandemic. While these cities have not returned to pre-COVID hiring levels, their rate of hiring is remaining steady and showing signs of improvement. Employers are not abandoning hiring from these metros.
  • Nashville , Charlotte and Indianapolis have emerged as strong hiring alternatives as their hiring levels are even stronger now than they were pre-pandemic.
  • In the West, hiring has already returned to higher than pre-pandemic levels, but lower year-over-year.

For more information and to download the PRO Unlimited Labor Market Report, click here.

About PRO Unlimited

PRO Unlimited, through its purely vendor-neutral Managed Services Provider (MSP) and Vendor Management System (VMS) solutions, helps organizations around the world address the costs, risks and quality issues associated with managing a contingent workforce. A pioneer and innovator in the VMS and MSP space, PRO offers solutions for the procurement and management of contingent labor, 1099/co-employment risk management, and third-party payroll. http://www.prounlimited.com

Cision View original content to download multimedia: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pro-unlimited-announces-top-market-trends-in-the-white-collar-gig-economy-301182197.html

SOURCE PRO Unlimited

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MSIG Introduces Insurance Plan for Gig Workers

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MSIG Insurance (MSIG) has introduced Freelancer CashPlus, an insurance plan that dispenses daily cash benefits to help gig workers safeguard against income loss during a prolonged illness or injury.

According to the Ministry of Manpower, the number of freelancers stood at 211,000 in 2019 which made up 8.8% of the total resident workforce. This number is likely to trend up as more people go through a career change or seek alternative sources of income through contract or short-term work assignments.

Understanding the unique needs of this underserved segment, Freelancer CashPlus aims to simplify insurance for gig workers with flexible options, affordable premiums and hassle-free policy issuance.

Given the variability in gig work, MSIG has weighed up the potential concerns that customers may have over an annual policy commitment. With MSIG’s Freelancer CashPlus, a gig worker can stay protected with weekly premiums from as low as S$6.89 for a basic plan.

With two plan types to choose from, policyholders can expect to receive daily income benefit of S$120 per day for up to S$7,200 under the higher tiered Elite plan, in the event they are on hospitalisation or medical leave for a prolonged period.

MSIG offers a simple purchase experience for this product which is only available through its website. Approval of cover is instant and there is no medical examination required.

As part of MSIG’s commitment to help Singaporeans tide through this difficult period, Freelancer CashPlus will also expand cover for hospitalisation and outpatient leave due to COVID-19.

Mr. Steven Leong, Senior Vice-President, Consumer and Digital Distribution, MSIG Singapore said,

Steven Leong, Senior Vice-President, Consumer and Digital Distribution, MSIG Singapore

Steven Leong

“Amidst the changing norms and emergence of digital platforms, a sizable number of workers have turned towards self-employment or flexible short-term model of work. While full-time employees might benefit from paid sick leave and hospitalisation leave, gig workers have no income to fall back on should they fall ill for a prolonged period. These are real challenges that gig workers face, which we hope to bridge through Freelancer CashPlus.”

 

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