New Freelancer Payment Protection Features At Graphite

With the rapid expansion of freelancing as a portion of the adult workforce, we’re starting to see new discussions around the social safety net for workers. Despite the many advantages of controlling your own destiny as a freelancer, if you’re in that line of work you are currently lacking  a lot of the services that W-2 employees have grown accustomed to – payment protection, healthcare, benefits, etc.  Freelancer payment protection in particular is a big issue for this community.

According to Freelancers Union President Sara Horowitz writing in The New York Times, 77% of freelancers have faced denied or late payments in their careers. And, she says, 44 percent of New York freelancers surveyed by FU had dealt with clients who in the previous year alone refused to pay. Though not exactly commonplace, payment disputes do arise from time to time between freelancers who toiled diligently on a project according to specifications, and clients who for a variety of reasons aren’t satisfied, or suddenly find they have a cash flow problem.
Introducing a New Freelancer Payment Protection System at Spare Hire
As an online staffing marketplace where freelancers find work, we pondered this question and what our role should be in helping bring more stability and protections to the talented professionals who service the needs of our clients.  This is a system built on trust and personal recommendations, and we’re quite invested in seeing both sides of the transaction successfully completed.
We just rolled out a new feature where clients are required to link a payment method to their Graphite accounts before their project can go live on our site. Previously, they could post and review applicants without a payment method attached.  We think this should go a long way in making sure our freelancers are protected from bad debt. We’re glad to do whatever we can in ways like this to ensure a well-regulated system where freelancing as a growing industry can flourish.

Vikram Ashok

Vik worked in New York and Hong Kong at Quilvest Private Equity and then as a freelance consultant before founding SpareHire. His dual degree in Applied Mathematics and Economics from Columbia enabled him to conceive, develop and oversee execution of SpareHire’s unique services platform. When not running SpareHire, Vik plays golf.

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