The call to support workers in the on-demand economy is growing louder. Today, a diverse group of organizations including on-demand platforms, think tanks across the political spectrum, labor leaders and worker advocacy groups, thought leaders, and Peers, issued an open letter to policy makers outlining a set of principles necessary for workers to enjoy both flexibility and stability in this new economy. Most importantly, the letter calls for the creation of a safety net for independent workers to support them when they’re injured, sick, in need of professional growth, or when it’s time to retire. At Peers, we’re working to put these principles into action by launching a “Portable Benefits” platform (more on this below).
The letter offers the following three principles as the foundation for a new safety net for the modern workforce. These principles are published in an open letter to policy makers, encouraging dialogue and action to support the outcomes of these principles.
1. Supporting both stability and flexibility is good for workers, business and society.
2. We need a portable vehicle for worker protections and benefits. This model should be:
– Independent: Any worker should be able to access a certain basic set of protections as an individual regardless of where they source income opportunities.
– Flexible and Pro-rated: People are pulling together income from a variety of sources, so any vehicle should support contributions that can be pro-rated by units of money earned, jobs done, or time worked, covering new ways of micro-working across different employers or platforms.
– Portable: A person should be able to take benefits and protections with them in and out of various work scenarios.
– Universal: All workers should have access to a basic set of benefits regardless of employment status.
– Supportive of Innovation: Businesses should be empowered to explore and pilot safety net options regardless of the worker classification they utilize. The time to move the conversation forward is now.
3. The time to move the conversation forward is now.
Please let us know what you think about these principles by adding to the conversation in the letter’s comments section. Moreover, you’ll be able to experience the application of these principles with the upcoming launch of the Peers Portable Benefits platform.
The Peers platform will be:
– All-in-one: Give workers access to a complete set of benefits, including health, disability, and retirement products, regardless of employment classification.
– Personalized: Include difficult-to-find benefits tailored to independent workers.
– Affordable: Allow on-demand companies to make pro-rata contributions to the cost of worker’s benefits.
There’s much work to be done, but we’re pleased to see a growing conversation, and are committed to working hard to create solutions that support workers in the new economy.