It’s been a challenging year for companies and gig workers alike. The cost of living is climbing, inflation is ticking higher and the global labour shortage shows little sign of easing. The result? Gig workers are demanding higher pay rates at the same time rising operating costs make it harder for firms to meet those demands.
So, what incentives can companies offer if they cannot increase pay enough to retain workers?
An emerging trend in European markets, in which companies are giving gig workers early access to their pay, has several advantages for both parties. Here’s a look at how some companies are getting creative with the ways they compensate their temporary/freelance workers in the UK, Spain and the Netherlands.
Rising day-to-day living costs in the UK mean workers may dread unexpected bills and expenses.
To help those who struggle to afford these unwelcome surprises, Indeed Flex has introduced Next Day Pay, a payment service for early access to a percentage of earnings. Through the app, workers can withdraw up to 50% of their wages the day after their shift. Generally, Indeed Flex workers are paid weekly, but this new option could be significantly appealing for temporary workers facing unanticipated costs.
“Same-day pay empowers you to use your earnings on your terms,” the company says on its website. “It gives you more control over your finances, allowing you to choose when you get paid, helping you to budget more effectively, plan ahead and make informed decisions about your spending.”
The service has already been launched in the US. Now UK temporary workers may get help in covering unforeseen bills.
After a successful round of debt financing last year, Madrid-based Job&Talent is also looking to provide daily wage offerings.
Its new $250 million capital infusion will help Job&Talent enhance and offer innovative financial products to workers, the company says. Specifically, this involves implementing daily payments and providing early access to wages.
Amid current challenging economic circumstances, Job&Talent co-founder and CEO Juan Urdiales says pay flexibility for workers is even more important. “We understand the current market conditions and macroeconomic factors such as inﬂation can be extremely challenging for [our workers],” Urdiales said in a statement in 2022. “A lot of our people will beneﬁt from having early wage access and ﬂexible payment options to accommodate their personal ﬁnances and cover unexpected costs. I am excited that the financing program will enable Job&Talent to offer daily wage payments and other tangible benefits in the coming months.”
A huge concern for freelancers is debtor risk. Some clients pay invoices late — and some don’t pay them at all. The uncertainty can be greatly distressing for gig workers. That’s why Dutch company YoungOnes offers early and direct pay for its workers.
Founded in 2017, YoungOnes is a freelance platform that facilitates independent contractors through its app. It offers flexibility and control regarding gig work and, notably, immediate pay once completed jobs have been confirmed.
While next-day payments are not guaranteed, workers are paid as soon as the client approves hours. This ensures workers are paid sooner, are not dependent on a client’s payment terms and do not risk a client not paying.
This service has been in place since July 2022 and came about as the result of a unique collaboration between ABN AMRO and YoungOnes. “This fits perfectly with today’s fast-paced society and how young people work,” YoungOnes Managing Director Pim Graafmans said in a press release announcing the service. “They take on a job today and prefer to spend their earned money the same evening. This innovation makes it possible.”
YoungOnes charges 2.9% of the invoice for this service for assuming the debtor risk. Clients typically approve hours within five working days, significantly quicker than the usual 14- or 30-day payment term.
While talent continues to be in high demand and firms cannot offer higher wages, early payment is proving to be an enticing incentive for workers. Whether to protect against unexpected costs or avoid debtor risk, the flexible structure gives gig workers some highly valued control over their finances.