Russian employers switch to freelance

2021-02-19

A quarter of Russian employers intend to replace up to 30% of their full-time employees with freelancers, TASS reports, citing a study by the PwC consulting company.

As noted in the study, the majority of Russian freelancers are citizens under 45 years of age. They mainly cooperate with companies whose turnover does not exceed 100 million rubles, while 64% of such employees receive less than 30 thousand rubles (=406 dollars) per month.

PwC explains the stable demand for freelance services by a decrease in the number of working-age population of the Russian Federation and a growing shortage of qualified personnel. But is everything so clear in this situation?

A freelancer, as you can read on Wikipedia, is a “free worker”, a person who collaborates with any firm, but is not included in its staff. They can choose orders for himself and work without leaving home and at any time of the day or night. It would seem to be very convenient.

But in our capitalist reality, this medal has an ugly flip side: without official employment, a freelancer cannot count on the social guarantees laid down for an employee under the Labor Code of the Russian Federation. The employer is not required to provide paid holidays and sick leave, doesn’t have to care about the compliance of workplace with standards of comfort and safety. In addition, thay can easily “forget” to pay for the services of a freelancer or pay less than promised, or even stop cooperation altogether without explanation.

Needless to say, an army of such “free workers” is much more profitable for business than legal employees, whose opinion has to be reckoned with. And the more full-time employees can be replaced by freelancers, the faster and easier business owners will increase their profits.

This is the essence of the bourgeois exploitation of wage labor, which can only be ended with the transition to socialism.