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Flexibility Must Come First

Millions of Americans have voted with their feet to unlock earnings opportunities enabled by app-based work. Flex is carefully reviewing the Labor Department’s proposal, with an eye toward ensuring that the voices of app-based earners are heard in the coming weeks and months.

Flex supports policies that allow app-based earners to keep their flexibility and independence. We believe that people should continue to be able to choose where, when, how often, and with which companies they work. We’ve found that even when spread across platforms, app-based workers work an average of 8 hours per week.

That’s what app-based earners have said, too. In survey after survey, earners consistently and overwhelmingly indicate that they prefer the freedom and flexibility that comes from independent contractor status. The reasons are straightforward: this flexibility allows app-based earners to prioritize their own ingenuity–and to build work around their lives and their needs, from family care to financial goals.

Proposals that could make classification more challenging would take away the freedom, flexibility, and earnings opportunities that our members’ platforms provide to millions. And ultimately, the millions of American consumers and businesses that benefit from these platforms could potentially see increased prices and service reductions.

More broadly, an employment classification regime crafted nearly a century ago does not map neatly onto a 21st century, app-based economy marked by flexibility, independence, and income scalability.

Instead, policymakers should focus on improving independent work, as Flex member companies actively are doing. That means centering the qualities of app-based work that have drawn a diverse array of people—from women and immigrants to veterans, communities of color, and people with disabilities—to our members’ platforms, while also promoting common-sense policies that improve and support this work.

Impact of App-Based Earnings on Workers:

  • One in six Americans has earned money working through an online platform.

  • According to Pew, the majority of workers (64%) say they either spent less than 10 hours (41%) in a typical week or don’t do this work most weeks (23%).

  • From Flex’s research, we’ve found that even when spread across platforms -- app-based workers work an average of 8 hours per week. Link

  • According to Global Strategy Group, 90% of independent contractors say that their status as independent contractors is a good arrangement for them and their lifestyle.

  • According to Benson Strategy Group & GS Strategy Group, when given the choice of being an IC or employee, the vast majority of Drivers prefer to maintain their IC status--69% of all Drivers and 66% of Drivers identifying as full-time prefer to be classified as an independent contractor rather than an employee.

  • A recent Chamber of Progress Report showed that the cost of reclassification of contractors unable to work in regular jobs and those whose freelance work on the side would total more than $42 billion in net earnings losses.

Refer to Flex impact reports for more information on how the app-based industry empowers working Americans.





Date: 10/11/2022
Category: Flex Insights