The Freelancers Union* is an interesting and positive response to the gig economy. As I have written, if you are interested in the new way of work, then you must care about the new workers. The Freelancers Union updates twentieth century trade unionism for the age of Uber. (As I blogged in 2014, the FU is “John L. Lewis crossed with Oprah. Don’t mess with us!”)
A few weeks ago the FU launched a new digital tool for building freelance contracts. The idea is to make it much easier for independent workers to use formal contracts without having a lawyer or professional administrator. Bravo! If I liked monkeying with contracts, would I be working as a Freelance whatever?
Laura Murphy reports that “[t]he Freelance Contract is optimized to be in compliance with the Freelance Isn’t Free Act” (which is the law in NYC, and a good idea everywhere).
The tool was done by And.Co, which is a company provides admin services for freelancers. They look cool and useful, though I don’t really grok the business model—how do they make money?
The tool is said to walk you through “an easy step-by-step process with lots of guidance along the way to help you make informed decisions.” The features are supposed to include:
- “Turn clauses off and on
- Make your contract industry-specific with custom clauses
- E-sign, and email the contract to your client to e-sign too
- Download a PDF of your Freelance Contract
- Get “smart alerts” letting you know when your client has received, opened and signed your contract”
I haven’t actually tried it because there isn’t any tutorial or “just looking” mode. I don’t have a real contract in mind, so I can’t really try it.
Still, this looks like a really useful idea, and I’ll try it out the next time I need a contract.
- Freelancers Union. The Freelance Contract: Make your contract yours. 2017, https://www.freelancersunion.org/contract/.
- Laura Murphy,, Introducing our free, easy-to-use contract building tool, in Freelancers Union – Cliente & Gigs. 2017. https://blog.freelancersunion.org/2017/02/27/contract-building-tool/
* I am a member to the FU since 2014, though I’m not an active Freelancer.