iPSE-U.S. Recruiting New Members as America’s “Gig Economy” Gains Steam
DETROIT (Nov. 29, 2018) – iPSE-U.S. is calling on all freelancers, consultants, gig workers and the self-employed to join its newly launched advocacy movement and reverse decades-long prejudices that put independent workers at a significant disadvantage.
“Independent workers are denied basic protections because so much of the social safety net and labor regulation is tied to full-time employment,” said Carl Camden, founder and president at iPSE-U.S. “It is time to help the millions of hardworking people in the ‘gig economy’ who cannot receive the benefits they need simply because they have a different workstyle.”
Despite contributing approximately $1.5 trillion to the U.S. economy, independent professionals face a significant number of discriminatory practices that have not evolved with today’s changing workforce dynamics1. For example, independent workers may not receive compensation if they are injured on a project; no income continuation if a long-term project ends without notice; no access to supplemented retirement programs or bundled health insurance options; no disability coverage when they have a major illness; no parental-leave program and no anti-harassment protections.
Independent workers may spend up to 40 hours a year assembling an inadequate benefits package from an ad-hoc collection of providers. Independent workers also face complicated tax, licensing and regulatory requirements because U.S. laws and regulations have not kept pace with modern labor practices.
iPSE today is offering U.S. memberships at ipse.us. Members will gain access to educational resources, advocacy support, a community network and insurance benefits such as group term-life insurance and accidental death & dismemberment (AD&D) insurance issued by The Prudential Insurance Company of America. iPSE membership benefits and discounts are powered by iWorker Innovations™ in collaboration with supporters and providers such as Prudential.
“It is time to modernize workforce standards as our economy transitions away from the traditional employment model,” said Hollie Heikkinen, chief executive officer of iWorker Innovations. “By joining together, we can deliver real benefits and services – equivalent to those typically tied to full-time, traditional employment – that allow anyone the freedom to work independently without bias or barriers.”
Kelly Abeles, VP, affinity and association strategy and account management for The Prudential Insurance Company of America, added, “We are pleased to help support the millions of Americans who represent an important and growing segment of the economy. Our collaboration will help independent workers and their families to gain the peace of mind they need to pursue their passions.”
Today, more than 33 percent of the current U.S. workforce, or 68 million workers, are expected to earn at least part of their income by working independently.2 This number is expected to rise to 50 percent, or 80 million workers, by 20203.
“The growth in independent workstyles has dramatically outpaced traditional job gains during the previous decade,” said John Healy, vice president and managing director, Kelly Services (and iPSE-U.S. board member), on the changing workforce landscape. “As the economy continues to adapt into the future, Kelly Services will keep advocating on behalf of independent workers and the work they do.”
Independent workers span every profession and income level, from dentists to dogwalkers, writers to realtors, electricians to engineers, bakers to brokers. Independent workers are, on average, more highly skilled and better educated than the traditional workforce4. Seventy-nine percent of these individuals actively choose the independent lifestyle for the unique freedom and flexibility it holds5.
iPSE-U.S. has called on all independent workers to sign the Declaration of Independents, a statement promoting the freedom and protection of America’s freelancers, consultants and the self-employed. iPSE is focused on fighting for the following initiatives:
- Create a focus on independent workers in the federal government. Current labor policies were designed around traditional employment. To balance this equation, iPSE-U.S. proposes the appointment of an undersecretary of independent work at the federal level. This post would focus solely on understanding and representing the unique interests of the self-employed.
- Provide fair and equitable tax treatment. Independent workers who have made self-employment a full-time career choice face ongoing attempts and “tests” to re-classify them as W-2 employees. Though the U.S. tax code is complex, the self-employed face additional intricacies and burdens. Independent workers should be free to work as they choose without undue tax burdens.
- Remove barriers to fair and equitable benefit structures. Historically, both the employer-based model and the individual mandate for health insurance have excluded the needs of independent workers. iPSE-U.S. believes the free market can reach faster, better solutions to affordable, portable health care and benefits for independent workers.
iPSE-U.S. is an association that celebrates America’s 68 million independent workers2. The organization is passionate about giving independent workers a powerful voice at the policymaking table while forming a vibrant community that empowers members to grow their businesses, protect their families and achieve financial well-being. iPSE-U.S. is online at ipse.us.
- America’s Independents: A Rising Economic Force, MBO Partners, 2016; The State of Independence in America, MBO Partners, 2018
- Independent Work: Choice, Necessity, and the Gig Economy, McKinsey Global Institute, October 2016; Global Human Capital Trends, Deloitte, 2017
- The Rise of The Freelancer Economy, Forbes.com, 2016
- Agents of Change, Kelly Services, 2016
- The State of Independence in America, MBO Partners, 2018