Compliance peace of mind
Backed by our award-winning
legal counsel, your HR and legal
teams will rest easy with the
most robust contractor
compliance offering on
To reduce your HR administrative burden, our legal and compliance team will determine whether each freelancer should be classified as an independent contractor or an employee and indemnify you from misclassification risk.
The team works efficiently within the platform to verify classification, typically within a few days, compared to weeks. And we contract each freelancer as the Agent of Record, so your company only needs to contract with one entity.
Correctly classifying freelancers as either independent contractors or employees can be complex and requires applying federal and state laws.
Companies set internal policies to ensure compliance because misclassification can result in liability for unpaid taxes, wages, and other violations. Upwork’s worker classification service allows companies to increase their use of freelancers by providing the resources and features needed to ensure compliance accurately and quickly.
Before a freelancer can accept the contract on the platform, the Upwork compliance team will review the project details and verify that it qualifies for independent contractor classification.
We also ensure the freelancer agrees to terms regarding client ownership of the work product and intellectual property rights, in addition to any other required agreements. This documentation is stored centrally in our platform to streamline the review process for repeat freelancer contracts.
The Upwork compliance team assesses factors required by law, such as the freelancer’s business details, location, type of work, payment terms, duration, and expected deliverables. We consulted with international experts to support worker classification in 180 countries. We also validate that the freelancer is able to control how the work is done. Learn more from this quick video.
For workers classified as employees, you can still work through Upwork by enrolling the freelancer with one of our third-party staffing providers.
This frees HR from the inconvenience and risk of payroll and benefits administration, while giving hiring managers more flexibility when working with freelancers.
For freelancers classified as employees, the staffing provider partner will employ the freelancer and handle administrative and legal details such as employment paperwork, payroll taxes, benefits, insurance, sick leave, and other HR needs.
The client and freelancer will both use the Upwork platform to easily communicate and track work.
Upwork partners with third-party staffing providers who are set up to facilitate work on Upwork. They also work with Upwork’s compliance team to ensure a smooth experience among all parties.
We’ve built an automated system to ensure freelancer contracts adhere to your company’s policies. Admins can set up requirements to complete and can easily check the status via a dashboard.
This technology integration significantly streamlines processing, improves onboarding completion, and provides visibility with a centralized repository of documentation.
You can configure the requirements to your needs, which can include tasks like accepting custom agreements, security requirements, and classification vetting.
You can designate specific users in your company who can access and review completed onboarding tasks. Or, you can let Upwork conduct the review for you through our worker classification services.
Customer stories, context, data,
and third-party research to
jump-start your success.
“Only 11% of the executives surveyed have complete processes for the contingent part of the workforce. Companies need to take a more deliberate approach to grow in the coming years.
Deloitte Human Capital Report 2016
See how your team can