Brief A Summary of the Virtual Convening on Reimagining Social Protections for Independent and Other Traditionally Excluded Workers
Loren Berlin, Ofronama Biu
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This summary describes the discussions at a virtual convening titled “Reimagining Social Protections for Independent and Other Traditionally Excluded Workers” and includes an artist's live visual notes taken during the event. Urban Institute, in collaboration with the Sol Center for Liberated Work, a program of the Center for Cultural Innovation hosted this convening in December 2022. During this event, worker advocates, forward thinkers, and movement leaders imagined new systems of worker supports, protections, and power for those excluded from existing benefits and social protections, including independent contractors, temp workers, and workers in the arts. Participants expressed support for widespread adoption of guaranteed income and cash transfer programs that would help all people, including independent contractors and other excluded workers who do not have a strong safety net. Participants also supported enforcement of existing and any newly proposed labor laws and worker protections, and improvement of social insurance programs to ensure they are portable and not tied to employment. Broader ideas also emerged, including the need for policymakers to see workers as complete people, the development of supports and protections inside and outside of the workplace, the role of culture in discussions of worker protections and supports, and promotion of mobility through asset building, debt relief, improved wages, reparations, access to opportunities, and worker power-building and collective action.

Research Areas Economic mobility and inequality Race and equity Social safety net Wealth and financial well-being
Tags Alternative or nonstandard work arrangements Employment Job quality and workplace standards Racial inequities in economic mobility Racial inequities in employment Worker voice, representation, and power Wages and economic mobility Wages and nonwage compensation Immigrants and the economy Inequality and mobility Income and wealth distribution
Policy Centers Income and Benefits Policy Center