The WorkerTech Ecosystem

19/08/2019 |

This is an abstract of a presentation on WorkerTech I’ve delivered at the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health on August 9, 2019 in Helsinki.

What is WorkerTech?

Digital service offerings that harness technology to provide the self-employed with personalized benefits and greater access to protections and rights.

They combine the flexibility of self-employment with the perks traditionally associated with salaried employees.

Learn more by following the Twitter hashtags: #WorkerTech #JobTech

WorkerTech
Source: Inline Policy, 2018

Who’s Developing WorkerTech?

  1. Startups 
    which have taken advantage of gaps in the market and regulatory landscapes to open up sectors like insurance and banking, and offer products specifically designed to the self-employed and gig workers.
  2. Traditional Companies (insurance, finance, training, etc.) 
    which have identified a business opportunity and are starting to adapt their service offering to the emerging workforce.
  3. Policymakers
    Frontrunner government departments that are aware labour regulations need to keep pace with technology.

“When it comes to workers’ wages, rights and wellbeing, technology isn’t all bad”
-Matt Stokes, Nesta

WorkerTech

Why this is Important

Emergent WorkerTech applications can offer employee-style arrangements for the self-employed, while still being a personalised choice.

Against a backdrop of very low intake of private pension and insurance for the self-employed across Europe, WorkerTech solutions are badly needed. Otherwise the welfare state will be coming under increasing pressure.

WorkerTech solutions can provide valuable services to the entire workforce.And, in countries with a high percentage of informal economy, these services can also promote the formalization of labour relationships.

WorkerTech
Source: SHRM and SAP SuccessFactors, Want Your Business to Thrive? Cultivate Your External Talent.

Common Features of WokerTech

  1. Individualised solutions allowing the self-employed to choose a specific benefit.
  2. Use existing and emerging technology to ensure access to benefits.
  3. More dynamic, flexible and responsive to real time earnings of the self-employed.
  4. Allow the self-employed to access benefits regardless of the number of platforms and customers they are working with.

WorkerTech Examples

On-demand insurance
Insurance solutions that are responsive to real-time activity of the self-employed with lower contributions when there is no work or downtime.
Examples: Zego, Slice, Dinghy, SafetyWing, Stride

Collective representation/action
Digital solutions to bring workers together on an ad-hoc basis and campaign on a single issue.
Examples: Coworker.org, Fair Crowd Work, Organise, Tech Workers Coalition

Tax, banking and payments
Solutions designed specifically for the flexibility of self-employment like budget management tools, real time payments and freelance savings accounts.
Examples: Coconut, Joust, Mastercard, SimplyPaid, Multiply

Pensions
Solutions allowing flexible retirement contributions by the self-employed with no recurrent fixed rates.
Examples: Nest, HonestDollar, Betterment

Portable benefits
Solutions allowing the self-employed to accrue benefits tied to the individual which move with them from gig to gig.
Examples: The Black Car Fund, Portify, Trupo, Qwil

Online redress
Solutions offering workers to lodge complaints against late payments, removal from a platform, or changes to a contract.
Examples: EU Platform-to-Business Regulation

Revenue optimization
Solutions offering gig workers opportunities to maximise their income.
Examples: SherpaShare, Hurdlr, Uber Quest, Dovetail X

Skills training
Solutions offering flexible ways to deliver learning and upskilling for the self-employed that can be undertaken at any time and in any place.
Examples: Mindfresh, edX, Jolt

Portable ratings/reviews
Solutions aggregating reputational credit from across platforms, with a score for workers that they could carry with them.
Examples: mydigitalbackpack, Traity, Deemly, Credly

Dispute resolution
Digital legal solutions based on arbitration for the self-employed and their clients to solve conflicts.
Examples: FairClaims, Avvo, CurtBuddy

Access to work
Solutions allowing the self-employed to access coworking, collective resources and technical material for their work.
Examples: Croissant, LightyShared, Hyre Car, Loconomics, BreadFunds, House of Gigs

APIs for platforms
Set of government backed APIs solutions that build features on top of existing work platforms.
Examples: Jobtech Dev, Swedish JobTech, Central Database of Available Hours (CEDAH)

You can view the full deck here below.

Thanks for reading 🙌

If you are also working at the intersection of policy, HR and technology in the gig economy, I’d like to know you. Get in touch at @MarcoTorreg or contact us.