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Freelance Working

Opening car door for passenger

In this new age of self-employment, who do you work for? A company? A Platform? Your own business? Self-employed? Freelance working? All of the above?

Multiple mobile applications (Apps) are creating a vast amount of jobs and creating new opportunities for people looking to try new things and break the norm or even get back into work.

Most of these App companies don’t actually employ these people and the people are counted as free lancers, gig workers or self-employed. The Apps just “facilitate orders” or “requests”. They are a ‘platform’. Uber is the largest taxi company in the world without employing any drivers. AirBnB is the largest hotel operator that not only does not own hotels but does not employ cleaners, catering staff, concierge or maintenance teams.

If you operate through these companies and ask them “Are you my boss?” or “Are you employing me?”, their answer will most definitely be NO! But if you ask the people on the other hand “What job do you do?” They will usually say I am a driver for Uber or Lyft, or say I am a host for AirBnB. There is an attachment here, but there is also a change in the way people see the role of the company. It is a new way to represent yourself – you are freelance – self-employed – but you have 1, 2 or 3 or more jobs.

What feels like a life time ago now, before mobile Apps, when people said “I’m self-employed” they usually owned and ran a small business, for example tax accountant or builder. One part of being self-employed was giving out your business a name like Smith Accounting or Big Build Construction.

Now it’s not the same, people don’t have the chance to personalise their services and own the ‘brand value’ they now promote the App. When you’re self-employed with your own business the success or failure of the business can be based on your success. But if the App that “facilitates” you goes bust or is merged or just stops, where do you stand?

Let’s say you’re a driver for a company called ‘ZOOMCarApp’. You have been successfully driving (self-employed, freelance working) for 3 years. You have completed 30,000 trips and you have an average of 4.8-stars, awesome! But what does this mean for you? What can you do with this?

Can this data be transferred when changing companies or finding a new App to work with or a new role? What of this do you own?

Whose ‘reputation’ is it really?

When you want to start on a new App or change roles or add a new skill and go to an interview with a new App or employer you maybe be asked what you have been doing for the last year(s). What do you say? “I have been self-employed” “I’ve been freelance working” Great! What client references do you have. Can you hand over your ‘stars’ what do they count for?

What can Apps do to help? How can they support people when leaving the App or starting on a new App? Who really owns the person’s 5-star rating?

Tech companies also have huge amounts of un-published data, how can that data help people? Rating a driver 1 to 5 star goes deeper – is it just 4.2-stars, or is it 3,000 jobs at 5-stars and 20 at 2-stars over a period of 1 year and the driver showed great attention to detail and managed to improve and achieved 3 months at constant 5-star on 500 jobs?

Here at MIC Global we believe that DATA is the key to building a better, more flexible and transferrable workforce and insurance can be a way of building an real asset linking your data in a multitude of Apps back to your policy, allowing you to own the rating you have built up.