Update Laws to Clarify Employment Status

Policy or Initiative Description

Governments should pass legislation clarifying the classification of emerging types of employees, as well as the enforcement of workers' rights for currently unprotected employees. Legislators should focus on a clearer outline of the tests for employment status, setting out key principles in primary legislation and using secondary legislation and guidance to provide more detail.


Authors of a Hamilton Project discussion paper propose legislation that “seeks to structure benefits to make independent worker status neutral when compared with employee status, as well as to enhance the efficiency of the operation of the labor market. By extending many of the legal benefits and protections found in employment relationships to independent workers, [the] proposal would protect and extend the social compact between workers and employers, and reduce the legal uncertainty and legal costs that currently beset many independent worker relationships."


Harris, Seth D. and Krueger, Alan B. “A Proposal for Modernizing Labor Laws for Twenty-First-Century Work: “The Independent Worker.”” The Hamilton Project. December 2015.



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