The rising popularity of freelance and/or contracted work in today’s economy has created a need for innovative ways to address the lack of protection for these kinds of workers, due to gaps in laws and regulations in this area. One such initiative involves ‘portable benefits’ – benefits that follow the worker from gig to gig rather than staying with a single job. This would allow freelancers to maintain important and essential benefits such as health insurance, worker’s compensation and retirement benefits.

Another initiative in this area is the Good Work Code. This code encourages companies to take it upon themselves to provide their freelance and contact workers with the code’s eight values, such as safety and livable wages. Basically, this code involves companies making a choice to maintain a high standard of treatment for their employees regardless of their employment status.

Many companies, such as Handy, desire more flexibility in how they define employees versus contractors. According to an article on the “Government Technology” website, CEO Oisin Hanrahan has stated that he would like to provide more benefits and training to their contractors but that doing so would force his company to reclassify these contractors.

Handy is an app that connects clients with cleaning professionals, handymen, plumbers, and other independent contractors. The site caters to thousands of consumers each week, boasting complete security and a 60-second booking process. The company started only three years ago and has already grown to over 200 people in 28 cities and received over $50 million in funding. This is precisely the type of company and the type of workers that would benefit from the ability to provide more flexible benefits without being restricted by regulations that do not fully consider the needs of different types of workers.