The Weekly Independent: December 14, 2015

   |   MBO Partners   |   December 14, 2015


Being a successful independent contractor or a client of choice isn’t just about doing the best work or having the best perks. It also means staying gone step ahead of the curve. That’s why each week we bring you The Weekly Independent, a quick-hit digest of news of note from around the web.

It’s been a big week for independents in the news – debate around portable benefits continues to heat up, and conversations about the gig economy remain “front page” worthy stories. Check out the best links, below:

  • Knowing your limits is a key part of managing your own business. MBO’s latest blog post discusses how adding a financial consultant and accountant to your business can help you succeed.
  • Is a new classification of worker needed? Debate is rising over whether a new type of legal category is needed between “Employee” and “Independent Contractor.” Specifically, much of this discussion centers around a classification specifically for gig economy workers, but the debate itself is much broader. A new position paper from the Brookings Institute lays out the issue in depth, while this piece from Gawker is a nice top line overview.
  • Discussion of a “social safety net,” often referred to as “portable benefits” or “individual security accounts” is becoming a popular topic in the media. In fact, the Aspen Institute is running a year-long discussion on the ‘future of work’ and will kick off their series with a discussion of the issue. The piece also lays out the various proposals and players in a nice overview.
  • Writers at some major news organizations across the nation are discussing unionization. The New Republic looks at what an actual union of writers might look like. This is a discussion to keep an eye on in 2016, as more and more contract and freelance workers enter the marketplace and look for ways to increase their power and stability.
  • We know the workforce is changing rapidly. This Forbes piece looks at 10 trends we may see come to fruition in 2016, including a rise in the use of independent talent. Companies looking to become “clients of choice” for top talent should consider how they can apply these trends to their FTE and contingent populations alike.
  • Becoming a client of choice for top independents is increasingly a discussion at big name companies. Harvard Business Review tracks the top factors attracting the best freelancers.
  • Uber drivers are most certainly independent contractors, at least in North Carolina, Arkansas and Indiana, new legislation states.  A new evaluation by Reuters shows that new legislation will also classify drivers as contractors in Ohio and Florida. Of course, it’s not all good news. What began as a small lawsuit from four Uber drivers is now a California class action suit that could have big implications for the company’s classification of workers in the future. A judge’s decision last week will let the majority of Uber’s 160,000 drivers in California join the suit if they so desire.

Should you have any questions, we’re always here for you.

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MBO Partners