A Bill for Gig Economy Benefits

The idea of being your own boss is attractive.

You have the ability to work when you want and with who you want. You set the terms and the rules. You can dedicate all of your time and attention to something you’re passionate about, or you can just work enough to get by while you pursue your passion elsewhere.

With today’s connected society, affordable technology, and digital platforms, there have never been more opportunities to start making money for yourself. In fact, there’s a term for this new area of workplace independence.

It’s called the gig economy.

The gig economy is a very broad market that covers anyone working as a freelancer, sole proprietor, independent contractor, one-man LLC, etc.

And it’s growing fast. Much faster than traditional payroll employment.

While the biggest increases have been seen in industries like transportation with the rise of Uber and Lyft, gig work extends to virtually every job market. With different online platforms, job finding sites, and marketing tools, there are plenty of opportunities to find work.

There is just one minor problem.

Working in this gig economy means you’re a freelancer, and freelancers don’t get any sort of safety net. There’s no guarantees, no insurance, no benefits, and very little protection. Even with its sudden popularity, the gig economy comes with a certain amount of risk.

But that could change very soon.

Senator Mark Warner of Virginia and Senator Suzan DelBene of Washington have introduced the first national bill that directly addresses the gig economy. It’s called the Portable Benefits Pilot Program Act.

If passed, this bill would establish a $20 million grant fund within the Department of Labor for states, local governments, and non-profits to experiment with benefits for gig workers. From there, an entire infrastructure of gig economy benefits could rise.

Warner says:

“As more and more Americans engage in part-time, contract, or other alternative work arrangements, it’s increasingly important that we provide them with an ability to access more flexible, portable benefits that they can carry with them to multiple jobs across a day, a year, and even a career.”

Though the bill has yet to pass, the odds are looking good. It will take some time for state and local governments to figure out what works and what doesn’t, but the pressure is on.

By 2020, half of our nation’s workforce won’t have basic benefits unless something changes.

What gig work (currently) lacks in traditional benefits, it makes up for in unique advantages. While new policies and protections are being finalized, you can start building your business now. Full-time or part-time, Torrch can help you find opportunities right in your local Christian community.

Like what you are reading? Subscribe to our blog for these resources to be sent right to your inbox.