A new report by the Inclusive Propserity Commission and published in Forbes calls for government protection for crowdsourced workers. Written by Glenn Hutchins, the article concludes:
“Many of my fellow commissioners on the IPC argue that, to protect workers and consumers in this new economy, we can’t simply rely on companies to police themselves. They believe that, in addition to skills training necessary to prepare workers to prosper in the new economy, we need updated labor policies that react to these rapid changes in technology and work patterns. As new work arrangements evolve, they advocate adjusting labor law to recognize flexible forms of employment while guaranteeing workers current basic protections. This argument is based on the observation that labor laws enacted in the 20th century – like the minimum wage, overtime regulations, OSHA standards, and unemployment insurance – helped build and protect the middle class and now can be adapted to meet the needs of the 21st century workforce.”
We need to ensure that the sharing economy benefits us all – consumers, entrepreneurs and workers alike. Businesses have to be the first line of defense by adopting commercial practices which enable their companies to thrive but which are just to their workers and which finance their fair share of social costs. Businesses should collaborate with policymakers to take steps to guarantee that the gig economy becomes a tool for economic mobility rather than just a mechanism to pay less for more.
The IPC was commissioned by The Center for American Progress, a progressive think tank.