As 2016 winds to a close, we at MBO Partners like to take time to reflect on what has changed in preparation for the year ahead. As is common in any fast-growing industry, we marvel at how much has changed in the past 12 months, and how much will likely change again as we head into and through 2017.
We’ve identified and recapped some of this year’s top trends, and have given insight into how we see these items developing as we begin the New Year.
On a federal front, the Department of Labor has remained relatively quiet since their Administrator’s Interpretation memo issued in July of 2015. However, the Department has not let up on misclassification, as they continue to add state-by-state agreements to protect employee rights.
President-elect Trump has yet to issue specific plans for the independent workforce, but has been vocal about reducing federal regulation by as much as 70%. This means major misclassification initiatives championed by President Obama will likely be rolled back, if not ceased entirely. While reduced state-level funding is anticipated, this doesn’t mean misclassification litigation is going away.
Brexit shocked the world this summer as the UK decided to exit the European Union. We covered what implications this might have for the world of independents with the help of our overseas partner. The fallout continues to have significant ripple effects.
While exactly how (and when) Brexit will officially occur remains to be seen, the UK has a number of items on their plate that will impact the contingent workforce, including tax legislation IR35 which independent contractors must abide by if they don’t meet HMRC’s self-employment definition.
The contentious 2016 election dominated news headlines for much of the year. Businessman Donald Trump’s surprise win has left many feeling uncertain, as a Republican—and non-politician—will take the White House for the first time in 8 years.
While it remains to be seen just how friendly Trump’s appointees are for the independent workforce, one thing is for certain—2017 will be a big year for Washington and will set key legal policies in motion that will affect the independent workforce and American taxpayers alike.
On the heels of the Bureau of Labor Statistic’s announcement to revise the currently stalled Contingent Labor Survey for 2017, it seems every company with a hand in the independent workforce wanted to release a study or survey related to the sizing, happiness, and motivations of independent workers. At MBO, we released our State of Independence—the only study with 6 years of trend data on the sizing and attitudes of the independent workforce.
The flood of surveys issued in 2016 only seeks to underscore the growing importance of independent work to leading enterprises worldwide. As companies seek to better understand this population, they will lean on organizations that have strong leadership and market knowledge to help shape future policy. MBO will continue to advocate for IC rights through initiatives like our Certified Self-Employed work and our Client of Choice research.
Freelancer marketplaces and management systems continued to grow and develop, both on a B2B and B2C front. Private talent networks, such as our own MBO ConnectTM, take talent management end-to-end with components that allow enterprises to source, classify, engage, and re-engage talent through the use of technology.
As this market continues to expand, enterprises will not only be able to see long-term value, but also cost savings of creating talent pools for continual management and maintenance of one’s independent workforce population.
Have additional thoughts? Send us a note, or reach out on social media—we’d love to hear from you about what you’re seeing as industry trends and how you’ll be adjusting your business for 2017.
An inside look at MBO Partners 2016 State of Independence in America Report.
A look at 10 independent workforce myths.