What this program missed (and most do) is that many people in the virtual economy don't consider ourselves freelancers. We're virtual company entrepreneurs with a number of clients (some corporate, no doubt).
I, for one, don't want corporate benefits because I don't want to be tied down to one client. That puts me back in the "employee" trap I was in before starting my own business. Once a company gives you benefits, they feel they can own you and will often dump far more demands on you than they are paying for.
The way around the benefit issue -- which is undoubtedly going to be hacked away for full-time employees, anyway -- is to have enough business to pay your own way. The IRS provides tax breaks for small companies, as you all know.
Anyway, very provocative and something to discuss if you want to as I write and talk about this subject a lot, nowadays. If you have thoughts to share for my blogs, you can reach me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Corporations are taking benefits from workers by calling them "freelancers."
Temporary workers and independent contractors make up nearly a third of the U.S. workforce, and represent a growing asset to companies who rely on freelance flexibility. But corporations are using the designation "freelancer" to avoid paying health care and other benefits, even though many of these workers put in the same hours as their covered counterparts. NOW looks at the effect of this tactic on the lives and personal economy of freelance workers.
We also examine an Enterprising Idea to help independent workers manage their personal needs, including benefits, networking and investment help. Freelancers Union, founded by former labor lawyer and MacArthur grant recipient Sara Horowitz, provides a safety net for over 60,000 workers, but how is it viewed by the traditional labor movement?
This is part of NOW's series on social entrepreneurs called "Enterprising Ideas"