Gig workers are independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers. Gig workers enter into formal agreements with on-demand companies to provide services to the company's clients.
Non-traditional or gig work consists of income-earning activities outside of traditional, long-term employer-employee relationships. Before diving into numbers, it is important to consider the different approaches to defining this workforce.
The difference between employees and independent contractors. Employees receive W-2 forms from their employers, who are obligated to provide them certain benefits, to deduct payroll taxes, and are covered by minimum wage and anti-discrimination laws. In many cases, temp-agency and subcontracted work is W-2 work, but the W-2 is issued by the contracting company rather than the company where the worker reports to work. Independent contractors, by contrast, receive 1099 forms when they perform services for a company without being a direct employee. Payroll taxes are not deducted, and neither party is covered by the same rules and regulations that apply to traditional employees.