A human resources agency surveyed and independently estimated the number of people who work as "freelancers" who are not employed by companies, and found that the number seems to have nearly doubled before the spread of the infection.

Freelance nearly twice as much as last year

The human resources brokerage company "Lancers" made its own estimates based on a survey of more than 3,000 people conducted on the Internet from January to February and a national labor force survey.

According to it, 5.51 million people make a living by undertaking work as "freelance" who are not employed by companies, which is almost double the number of the same period last year.

In addition, the number of "gig workers" who receive one-off jobs such as one day or several hours online is 3.08 million, which is about 5.3 times that of the same period last year.

A case where a person who has an employment contract with a company and worked as a full-time employee or a non-regular employee works as a "gig worker" who wants to immediately secure income when he / she is in trouble due to unemployment or a decrease in income due to the influence of the new coronavirus. It seems that there are not a few.

According to the human resources agency that conducted the survey, "The number of people who felt uneasy about their income due to the spread of infection increased, and the so-called" non-skilled career "job options that anyone, including delivery staff, could do" expanded. I think this has led to a significant increase in the number of “gig workers” and “gig workers.” This trend will continue, and it is expected that the number of people who will work without being hired by a company will increase. ”

Voice for safety net maintenance

As the effects of the spread of the new coronavirus continue, people who work as "freelancers" who are not employed by companies are calling for the development of a safety net.

When the "Freelance Association" in Tokyo conducted a questionnaire survey on the Internet from December to January last year, targeting people who work as "freelancers" about the effects of the spread of infection, more than 700 people responded. ..

According to this, 55% of the respondents answered that their income in 2020 was "decreased" compared to their income in 2019 before the spread of the infection.

Of these, "40% to 60% decrease" was 19.3%, "70% to 90% decrease" was 10.3%, "No income" was 3.1%, and income decreased by 40% or more, totaling 32.7%. I went up to one person.

In the questionnaire survey, when asked if it was necessary to provide social security regardless of the difference in working style, those who answered "I think it is very necessary" or "I think it is rather necessary" are also included. It was 95.7%.

In addition, when asked if they would like to take out employment insurance, which pays unemployment allowance when they lose their jobs, 68.1% of the respondents answered "I want to take out" or "I would rather take out". ..

The Freelance Association has provided services such as insurance that covers income when you cannot work due to illness or injury in cooperation with a private insurance company, which reduces the burden of insurance premiums compared to individual insurance.

The number of people who want to take out such insurance is increasing, and the number of members of the association is 8348 as of the 1st of this month, which is more than double the number before the spread of the infection.

Until now, many members of the association have advanced skills such as engineers, but it seems that the number of people with unstable income such as home delivery drivers and food delivery delivery staff is increasing.

Mari Hirata, the representative director of the "Freelance Association" who conducted the survey, said, "Many of the freelancers who are increasing due to" corona sickness "work in a labor-intensive and very vulnerable position where they work by moving their bodies. Now that work styles are diversifying, I would like you to review the system so that the quality of the safety net does not change depending on whether or not you are employed by a company. "

Expert "The system is not keeping up with the actual situation"

Takuya Hoshino, chief economist at Daiichi Seimei Keizai Kenkyusho, who is familiar with labor policy, said that it is necessary to consider a system that protects the lives of freelancers who work in the same way as ordinary workers. I will point out.

Hoshino, chief economist, said, "I think there are many people who are actually employed even if they take the form of freelance. The social security system is not keeping up with the actual situation. I think that the enhancement of the safety net should be discussed more mainly by those who have been involved. "

"Freelance" protection guidelines

In the growth strategy decided in July last year, the government announced a policy to work to create an environment where freelancers can work with peace of mind.

Among these, it is necessary to create an environment where individuals can choose freelance from the viewpoint of the spread of diverse work styles, and the spread of the new coronavirus has a great impact on those who work as freelancers. It is said that rules will be put in place to protect it.

Based on this policy, in March we published guidelines for protecting those who work as “freelancers”.

Specifically, it is fair and free to make a deal between a freelancer and a business operator who orders work after making freelance a "self-employed person who earns income by utilizing experience and skills". Clarified that antitrust laws that promote competition will apply.

On top of that, the act of setting remuneration significantly lower, delaying payment, and unilaterally canceling work for no good reason is an abuse of dominant bargaining position.

In addition, even if you are working as a freelancer, if you receive instructions and orders from the company that places the order and manage the working place and working hours, you will be regarded as a worker and the Labor Standards Law and the Labor Union Law will be applied.

Business establishments are required to comply with regulations on working hours, and it is prohibited to refuse collective bargaining without a justifiable reason.

In addition, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will pay the insurance premiums for freelance delivery staff who deliver food by bicycle, etc. Special subscription is approved and operation has started.