Gavin Newson, Governor of California, signed into law the gig worker protections bill AB-5 last year to reduce the misclassification of workers as independent contractors, rather than actual employees. This law protects gig workers from basic protections that misclassifications can cause, such as minimum wage, paid sick leave and health insurance benefits.
Although those who proposed the bill hoped to ensure fair treatment of these workers, large companies consisting of many gig workers, such as Lyft and Uber, opposed the bill and said it would hurt those who choose flexible hours.
Uber announced updates to its app that would allow California drivers more flexibility and control, as well as allow them to qualify as contractors. It is expected that several other companies will push back against the legislation, but how can companies provide stability and flexibility for gig workers in the meantime?
First, it is helpful to offer workers the ability to set their own schedules. Using a platform that allows employees to make their own schedules allows traditional workers to enjoy the same flexibility that gig workers have. Through this platform, workers can request time off and swap shifts to have a better work-life balance.
Gig workers often do not have the best tools for communicating with employers or coworkers, so incorporating pathways for two-way communication can allow gig workers to feel more connected with their colleagues as well as their employers.
Furthermore, it is important for employers to offer workers the ability to upskill as this can ensure job satisfaction and allow workers to gain new skills to stay competitive in an uncertain economy.