As the gig economy continues to expand, labor rights activists and regulators are pushing to ensure that gig workers can enjoy the same protections and benefits as the traditional workforce. The race to attract and retain talent in the new paradigm has led to companies like Mercer and Complete Controller working together to offer a groundbreaking benefits platform for gig workers.
Complete Controller’s new platform, known as PERKS, will offer insurance benefits for non-traditional workers by providing freelancers with a way to select their own benefits from a wide variety of options for health, life, disability, professional liability, and more. The platform, which was developed by Mercer, also provides gig employers a way to contribute to their workers’ PERKS accounts at any level they desire, with benefits moving with the gig worker instead of being tied to a single employer.
"It is a problem in today's market that employers are unable to offer selection and flexibility when providing benefits to their workforce," said Jennifer Brazer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Complete Controller, "...under these programs, often non-traditional workers don't qualify for benefits at all. Meanwhile, employers struggle to be competitive and meet the changing needs of their workforce. The old model doesn't work in today's environment."
It’s no secret that the gig economy has been experiencing explosive growth: research by Mastercard shows gross volume expanding from $204 billion in 2018 to a projected $347.8 billion in 2021, and growing further to an expected $455.2 billion by 2023. With an estimated 57 million gig workers in the U.S. currently, and that number expected to surge to 86 million by 2027, a larger amount of gig workers will be able to enjoy the stability and security of insurance benefits while being able to freely move from one employer to another.
The move comes at a crucial time, with gig workers representing 15% to 25% of the global workforce today, and projected to comprise 35% to 40% of it by 2025. A study by the University of Hertfordshire has found that over half (54%) of gig workers do not have access to employer-based benefits.
By providing employers with a means to offer and contribute to benefits that were previously out of reach to gig workers, the PERKS platform will provide a means for employers to differentiate themselves in an increasingly competitive environment, attracting and retaining talent amid the Great Resignation.