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Who’s Still Covered by California’s Gig Worker Law?

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A California law nicknamed the “gig worker law” no longer applies to many of the state’s gig workers. Last week, voters approved a ballot measure named Proposition 22, which gave transportation and delivery companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash permission to keep treating their drivers and delivery people as independent contractors, instead of employees. In piloting and funding the measure—to the tune of $205 million, a state record—the companies neatly sidestepped a more stringent worker classification test that had been approved by the state legislature and state courts.

The gig worker law, known as Assembly Bill 5, was enacted last year. Even before last week’s election, lawmakers had exempted about 100 kinds of independent contractors, including doctors, dentists, lawyers, songwriters, hair stylists, architects, youth sports coaches, and some freelance writers, producers, and cartographers. Proposition 22 revokes the law for its intended targets—ride-hail and delivery drivers.

But AB 5 still exists, and it still covers millions of California workers, says Ken Jacobs, chair of the UC Berkeley Labor Center. They include janitors and other cleaners, retail workers, ground maintenance workers, and truck drivers. (The employers of truck drivers have so far been allowed to continue classifying their workers as contractors, thanks to an ongoing court battle.) This year’s California state budget dedicated more than $20 million to enforcing the new labor law.

AB 5 codified an earlier California Supreme Court decision that created a test to separate independent contractors from employees. According to the test—which is the law in many US states, but is not always enforced in the same ways—workers are only contractors if they’re not under direct control of the company they work for, if they perform work “outside the usual course” of the company’s business, and perform the same kind of work for other companies.

Labor advocates have pledged to continue to fight for California workers they believe are being misclassified by their employers—and denied the wages, protections, and benefits that come along with employment. That includes gig workers at some tech companies.

In September, the civil rights organization Public Rights Project submitted a letter to the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing that detailed alleged misclassification of workers by Handy, a home services booking website. The letter, first reported by The New York Times, detailed alleged incidents of sexual harassment of Handy workers by customers. The Public Rights Project believes Handy would better protect against harassment if it considered its workers employees. Handy didn’t respond to questions about its position on AB 5, but it said in the Times piece that it believed it was exempt from the law. The Public Rights Project is still awaiting the results of the California department’s investigation, says Jenny Montoya Tansey, its policy director.

“Prop. 22 actually covers only ride-hailing and delivery companies, so just a couple of sectors within the gig economy,” says Montoya Tansey. “But there are a number of others that are still subject to AB 5—including home services.”

Thumbtack, which matches personal service workers—in tutoring, personal training, home services, and other fields—with customers, says it doesn’t need to follow AB 5, because it doesn’t set hours or pricing for those on its platform. But its CEO and cofounder, Marco Zappacosta, has been a tech industry outlier, loudly arguing that Prop. 22 is a bad fit for the industry and the state—even if AB 5 isn’t perfect, either. The success of Uber, Lyft, and others in essentially writing their own labor law looks bad, he says, and makes it harder for everyone to engage in good-faith conversations about how to reconfigure regulations so they’re fairer to everyone, workers included. “Prop. 22 takes us further from a fundamental solution and a holistic approach, and sets a terrible precedent,” he says.

Ray Fuentes, an attorney with the labor advocacy group The Partnership for Working Families, expects future California classification battles to focus on workers in janitorial services, home services (like house cleaning), and construction. “Cities will be very interested to root out misclassification for these fly-by-night and smaller businesses, because it hurts the city’s bottom line,” he says. Companies that treat employees as independent contractors don’t pay some payroll taxes, don’t pay into state unemployment insurance programs, and can contribute to gaps in workers’ health insurance coverage. That often leaves local governments to pick up the bill.

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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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