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More Law Reforms for Freelance Workers – Coming Our Way Soon?

freelancesupermarket.com newsroom

RSS 28 October 2019
News on the street is that California has passed a new gig economy law, in a bid to help protect lower-earning workers by giving them employment-like benefits. Commencing in January, Assembly Bill 5 will hinder, and not help some of the West-Coast workers it’s intending to protect.

News on the street is that California has passed a new gig economy law, in a bid to help protect lower-earning workers by giving them employment-like benefits.

Commencing in January, Assembly Bill 5 will hinder, and not help some of the West-Coast workers it's intending to protect.

The law is primarily aimed at helping taxi drivers such as those working for Uber and Lyft who are classed as contract workers and not employees. It's looking to ensure that they have similar benefits to those employed, including paid holidays and health insurance. They are clearly taking the lead from the UK here, from our own courts raising similar issues and the ensuing court battle where Uber was forced to make some workplace concessions to continue operating here. Already many are predicting a fare increase for taxi companies like Uber to be able to absorb the increased costs they will face.

Not only that, but, if successful, it looks to be rolled out into other parts of the USA in a similar shape or form.

If that is the case, then, given how many UK freelance workers are employed by American companies, we may yet see the implications of the AB5 bill ripple through the Atlantic to cause waves over here too.

 

Uber Ruins Everything?

Not only that, but the AB5 goes further than just intending to protect the rights of taxi drivers.

In addition, it also restricts freelancers in the creative industries. Writers are particularly hard hit, with them insisting on a cap for the amount of times you can write for a single employer in a year. No more than 35 pieces for the same employer per year, is their suggestion. Which isn't great for either side. Employers who are looking to hire regular writers will have to hire many people to do the same job if they are delivering fresh daily, or weekly content. Employees on the other hand, will need to juggle multiple clients for the same revenue return, adding more administration time for the same financial gain, which of course costs money. Hardest hit are likely to be the mothers who earn a living freelance writing while raising their children who don't have time to juggle multiple clients and continually find new gigs.

So, if you, like me, have always dreamed of quitting the day job, sticking it to the man, and working from your beach pad in Malibu, this new legislation may just put paid to those dreams. So, for me at least, it's the joy of the daily commute to the bright lights of the FSHQ News Desk for the time being.

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