The First Ever Portable Benefits Act for Freelancers

May 30th, 2017

portable benefits

By Rishon Blumberg, 10x Management Co-Founder

In 2015 during my TEDx talk, I proposed a portable benefits concept where employers would pay into a benefits pool based on the number of hours they’ve employed a freelancer. Later, I pointed out in an article I wrote that the freelance “movement” had entered the legislation phase. Between the NYC Freelance Isn’t Free Act that recently passed and this new bill that has been proposed in the senate, we’re finally seeing our government address broader protections for the fast-growing freelance economy.

The new bill was introduced by Virginia Democratic Senator Mark Warner who recognizes the need to create a national fund to protect contract-based workers and provide portable benefits. Freelancers and the companies that hire them would pay into a fund that would cover healthcare, transportation, lost pay due to injury, or even retirement. The joint fund would help spread risks across an entire sector and gain freelancers economies of scale as the Freelance Revolution gains steam. If you work in the gig economy, portable benefits would follow you from project to project as opposed to being tied to one place and one job.

Warner describes the portable benefits act as an emergency fund:

“It might be a fund to take care of a disability if you get hurt. It might work with some existing retirement programs. Part of it would be, depending on what happens with Obamacare, an ability to help deal with health care expenses. I think there will be a variety of models.” 

We wholeheartedly support these efforts and will continue to look to be a voice of encouragement as local, state and federal governments catch up with the strong market forces at play in the labor sector.

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