Services Procurement & Contingent Labor Management Content

CA Assembly Bill 5 is Law: Is the gig economy doomed? (Part 3) [PRO]

sharing economy

Last week, with a stroke of California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s pen, CA Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5) became law and cast the gig economy into question. Did it doom the gig economy and its contract workers? And what does it mean for businesses?

Technically the law takes effect Jan. 1, but its future, nonetheless, remains uncertain for many reasons. And even if the law does not get watered down or blocked in the courts or overturned by state referendum, the jury is still out on whether AB-5 will deal a death blow to the gig economy or just change it. The signing of AB-5 “into law,” to a significant degree, marks the start of a new phase of debate and uncertainty about the question of whether a worker is an employee (EE) or an independent contractor (IC) and what the future of the “gig economy” — an ambiguous term if ever there was one — will be.

Earlier in this series, we referred to the gig economy as “an ecosystem of businesses and many types of workers” and governed by laws — “that part of the labor market where businesses, including online ‘gig platforms,’ engage workers as non-employees.” We believe this is the broader context in which this law should be analyzed (because, believe it or not, it’s not just “all about” Uber, et al, which represent just one segment of workers classified as ICs. According to our estimates, based in part on Beacon Economics report, “Understanding California’s Dynamex Decision 2018,” ICs make up about 19% of the California employed workforce of about 20 million workers (upwards toward 4 million ICs in the state). And over 90% are in industry segments other than “transportation.”

In Part 3 of this three-part Spend Matters PRO series, we will try to assume the business perspective and provide our thoughts on the newly passed law and the fate of the gig economy as well as point to potential implications for contingent workforce managers, HR and other executives.

Afternoon Coffee: Google puts big money behind renewables procurement, EU data centers; DHL hikes 2020 pricing in certain geographies

Google will invest an additional 3 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in the next two years to expand its European data centers, as well as saying it would buy a 1.6-gigawatt package of agreements, including 18 new wind and solar deals across the globe. DHL Express announced 2020 price hikes in Germany, India and other countries, while DHL Resilience360 is applying AI advancements to its Incident Monitoring module. And in the wake of California's Assembly 5 bill being signed into law by its governor, is the gig economy doomed? Afternoon Coffee: Happy Friday!

CA Assembly Bill 5 passes: Is the gig economy doomed? (Part 2) [PRO]


Last week, in Part 1 of this Spend Matters PRO series, we covered the controversial California Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5) that changes the definition of who is an employee and who is a contractor — sending shockwaves through the ecosystem of businesses and workers that constitute the so-called gig economy (that part of the labor market where businesses, including online gig platforms like Uber, engage workers as non-employees). Though California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the bill into law this week and it is slated to take effect January 2020, the future is still uncertain, and the controversy still rages.

Gig-platform companies providing ride, delivery and other services have been in the cross hairs of the bill, and they have already spent over $15 million attempting to challenge, influence and obtain an exemption from the law. Uber has suggested it will defy AB-5. And Uber, Lyft and DoorDash may fund a statewide referendum to cost upwards of $90 million. Court challenges will also come from many businesses and other organizations that do not support the law.

The fundamental issue at stake is how workers get classified by the state as either an employee (EE) or independent contractor (IC). AB-5 defines just that in very specific terms; and some people (mainly workers) are happy about that, and others (mainly businesses) are not (see Part 1 for more details on the law and its exemptions). Indeed, the stakes can be very high for businesses that rely on ICs (or who they thought were IC). But that’s just one side of the story — new laws and regulations that may cut into profits or even destroy some gig economy business models. There are other perspectives as well, such as workers and government, to name two.

In Part 2 of the series, we examine the competing interests and perspectives around AB-5. In Part 3, we will provide our own thoughts on the bill as well as point to potential implications for contingent workforce managers, HR and other executives.

SolutionMap: 56 Procurement Software Companies Ranked (Q3 2019 Update)

Spend Matters today released its Q3 2019 SolutionMap, ranking 56 procurement software companies across 12 solution categories, including E-Procurement, Sourcing, Spend Analytics, Supplier Relationship Management, Contract Lifecycle Management and Contingent Workforce & Services. Click on this article to see which new providers joined the rankings, and to see how to access rankings for free!

Q3 2019 SolutionMap Release Notes: Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) Enterprise Technology Solutions — Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work (SOW), Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services

Q3 2019 marks the fifth research cycle for Spend Matters’ Contingent Workforce & Services (CW/S) “enterprise technology” SolutionMap, the sourcing and management of three underlying spend categories: Temp Staffing, Contract Services/Statement of Work and Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (formerly Independent Contract Workers, or ICW).

Beginning in Q3, Spend Matters has changed the name of the Independent Contract Workers (ICW) category to Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services, primarily to express the proper scope of the category’s coverage of those solution providers that enterprises use to source and manage both workers and small services firms in a relatively direct manner. (At the very least, a traditional supplier’s role is more limited and the technology solution enables more direct sourcing and talent management by an end-client.)

The full list of providers in the Q3 2019 CW/S SolutionMap includes:

  • Beeline
  • Coupa
  • Elevated Resources
  • Field Nation
  • Shiftgig
  • Shortlist
  • SirionLabs
  • TalentNet
  • Talmix
  • TalonFMS
  • Upwork Enterprise
  • VectorVMS
  • Vndly
  • WorkMarket (ADP)
Three new providers joined SolutionMap in Q3 for the first time:
  • Elevated Resources — participating in the Temp Staffing category
  • Shiftgig — participating in the Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services category
  • VectorVMS — participating in the Temp Staffing category
As noted further below, a vendor may participate in a SolutionMap category but may not necessarily appear on the SolutionMap comparative quadrant graphic.

Given Spend Matters’ procurement orientation, we evaluate “enterprise technology” vendors within a source-to-pay (S2P) reference model. In other words, we look at vendors in terms of their capabilities that address some or all enterprise requirements that arise within an S2P lifecycle (i.e., from supplier sourcing to worker or supplier payment).

We have gathered extensive business profile information, have more than 100 active customer survey references and have assigned scores to specific solution capabilities (RFI line items) ranging from well over 100 to about 300, depending upon how many SolutionMap categories a particular vendor participated in.

New name for SolutionMap category: Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services (DSW/S)

As of Q3 2019, the CW/S SolutionMap category “Independent Contract Workers” will be renamed “Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services” (DSW/S) to better represent the diversity of solutions that Spend Matters has covered to date and those we will cover in the future.

In addition to the name change, we have broadened the SolutionMap definition, in part, because the solution category has expanded beyond the concept of the original “freelancer management systems” (FMS) to include providers addressing a much broader range of use cases.

Check back in with Spend Matters tomorrow for the Q3 2019 SolutionMap release, which will include the latest rankings of Direct Sourcing of Workforce/Services solution providers.

Afternoon Coffee: Mastercard Track bolsters P2P muscle by adding payments features; Upwork, Workforce Logiq do a gig together

Spend Matters reported today that Mastercard Track has added payments tools, with a product called Business Payment Service, to its offering, with which it intends to penetrate the procure-to-pay space even further. Old Navy, soon to be newly free from the Gap, its parent, has just announced some new #squadgoals. Upwork, the largest global freelancing platform in terms of spend, and Workforce Logiq, a leading workforce management solution company, have announced an exclusive partnership that will create a new channel for enterprises to access online freelance talent. And trucking companies fear the new California gig economy law will lead to a hike in shipping costs besides upending operations in the state. Afternoon Coffee: your happy-Friday source for procurement and supply chain news.

CA Assembly Bill 5 passes: Is the gig economy doomed? (Part 1) [PRO]

California Assembly Bill 5 (AB-5), recently passed by the state Senate, changes the definition of who is an employee and who is a contractor. It is expected to be signed by the governor and is slated to go into effect January 2020. The new legislation, which codifies the 2018 state Supreme Court decision in the controversial Dynamex civil litigation case and clarifies its application, is sending shockwaves through the ecosystem of businesses and workers that constitute the so-called gig economy (that part of the labor market where businesses, including online gig platforms like Uber, engage workers as non-employees).

The main issue, one that has become increasingly fraught over the years, is whether a worker should be classified as either an independent contractor (IC) or an employee (EE) of a business, given the conditions and characteristics of the engagement. Anyone who follows this matter knows that determining the classification of a worker is not a simple matter. The presence (or absence) of laws and interpretations at the national, state and even municipal levels and the promulgated regulations of different governmental entities responsible for taxation, unemployment compensation, worker’s compensation insurance, etc. means a worker may be classified differently depending upon the reference point.

In Part 1 of this three-part Spend Matters PRO series, we will cover the background/context of AB-5 and the essential points of the bill. In Part 2, we will examine different perspectives about the law, and Part 3 will provide our own thoughts and examine some potential implications for contingent workforce managers.

Afternoon Coffee: California bill to make companies treat gig workers as employees; Annual metals forecast outlook report out now; Peter Smith publishes another book!

California’s State Senate passed a bill that mandates companies such as Uber and Lyft begin treating their workers as employees, the New York Times reports. Spend Matters sister site MetalMiner just launched two landmark resources for a key segment of direct materials buyers. And our friend and former colleague Peter Smith, until this year the managing director of Spend Matters UK/Europe, is celebrating his latest book release — called “A Procurement Compendium.” Afternoon Coffee: your source for procurement and supply chain news.

VectorVMS: Vendor Introduction, Analysis and SWOT [PRO]

This Spend Matters PRO Vendor Introduction offers a candid take on VectorVMS and its capabilities that help companies with their contingent workforce programs. The brief includes an overview of VectorVMS and its solution offerings, a summary solution evaluation, a SWOT analysis and, lastly, a selection checklist for companies that might consider the provider.

Afternoon Coffee: AI-powered AppZen raises $50 million; Beeline and TalentNet hook up; Uber Freight HQ settles in Chicago

AI-based finance solution provider AppZen has raised $50 million from investors, and TechCrunch reports a jump in valuation. Beeline, the world's largest independent provider of solutions for sourcing and managing contingent labor, announced its partnership with TalentNet, a talent acquisition and curation platform that leverages clients' brands to build private talent pools of readily available workers. And LevaData and Resilinc announced their own global partnership to co-develop innovative solutions to mitigate supply chain risk. Afternoon Coffee: bringing you a Super Tuesday of procurement and supply chain news.

The Contingent Workforce and Services (CW/S) Insider’s Hot List: September 2019 [Plus+]

Welcome to the September 2019 edition of Spend Matters Insider’s Hot List, a monthly look at the contingent workforce and services (CW/S) space that’s available to PLUS and PRO subscribers. For those new to the Hot List, each edition covers the prior month’s important or interesting technology and innovation developments in the CW/S space.

We’ll look at several hot topics: Upwork’s review of disagreements about the size of the freelance economy, changes in worker classification, drone deliveries, a funding round by healthcare jobs marketplace provider Nomad Health, and how freelancers are changing banking and finance.