So, if the gig economy is here to stay, it’s time we should start thinking deeply about where the benefits of these changes will fall. Specifically, who benefits from this continued growth in the gig economy?
Here’s the reality of it. Everyone will be impacted. The impacts will be felt in different ways. Everyone will benefit in some way, but some will see larger benefits than others. Yes, some will lose in the short run. However, history suggests that the long-run benefits will be far greater.
Most obviously, employees participating in the gig economy benefit from increased flexibility, the ability to choose projects that best align with their goals and interests, and the ability to earn income from multiple sources. While freelancers tend to worry about income predictability (and dip into their savings more often), a recent report from upwork suggests that nearly two-thirds of freelancers think that having a diverse set of income sources is more secure than relying on one employer.
Of course, this is not to say all is rosy for those making their way in the gig economy. Talking briefly about a different type of benefits (i.e., nonwage compensation) that we’ve come to expect from employment, the gig economy turns much of this on its head. As a by-product of history event , the traditional employer-employee relationship has become the primary vehicle for delivering health insurance to workers in the United States. Because participants in the gig economy are working full-time for one specific employer, many contractors and freelancers are left without employer-sponsored health insurance, employer-financed retirement plans, and paid time off.
One option is to offer these workers portable benefits that would help pick up the slack. Portable benefits are categorized by three categories :-
- Portable: workers’ benefits are not tied to any particular job or company; they own their own benefits.
- Pro-rated: each company contributes to a worker’s benefits at a fixed rate depending on how much he or she works or earns.
- Universal: benefits cover independent workers, not just traditional employees.