Freelance, between growth and instability

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Freelance status is a burgeoning form of work. Micro-enterprise, SARL, self-entrepreneur, wage portage…

Since 2018, the Social Plan of the Independents (RSI) has been attached to the general scheme of workers. This translates as an incentive or facilitation to access self-employed status. This has taken effect since January 2020. The self-employed entrepreneur carries out his professional activity in the form of one-off assignments, which he invoices his clients according to the work requested.

The news of the French freelancer

In recent years, we have seen a radical change in employment in general. This is due in particular to the arrival of new technologies and digital technology, which have largely changed the world of work. This arrival has given rise to new sectors of activity but above all new branches of work; and among these is that of the freelancer who is experiencing an interesting evolution, especially in France.

This development of new technologies is an indispensable tool for this status of workers since it is a facilitator of activities; it makes it easier to connect with customers from all over the world, where the physical was content with close contacts.

Being a freelancer is a phenomenon that is growing day by day because of its many advantages: the person is his own boss, he makes his own schedule, and he can also choose his contracts. So many elements that increase the number of members each year. In France, the opinion on freelancers is mostly very good. According to an IFOP study conducted on 29 November 2019 and published on 26 february, 77% of managers have a good opinion of freelance status and this percentage rises to 86% for people who have already experienced this status.

A marked development in New Aquitaine

On French territory, the distribution of the employability of freelance status is largely in the region of Ile-de-France which is the most developed in the digital sectors with a rate of 44%, followed by the New Aquitaine region with a rate of 13% according to figures from a study conducted by Malt in 2019.

This shows a real enthusiasm for the independent professions. However, these two regions are more represented in the digital field at large. The island of France is the heart of the country, with many companies and employees of all statutes. In New Aquitaine, Bordeaux’s growth momentum attracts companies and favours start-ups. It is becoming more and more accessible, with the proliferation of coworking spaces. A very promising future for the Bordeaux region is coming, following the business developments that have begun in recent years.

Despite all the benefits of this status and all the positive opinions that emerge from it, it has created an imbalance in the labour market. This had to be offset in order to adapt to these new developments in order to respond efficiently.

A managerial challenge for businesses

Businesses and job platforms have had to adapt to this new wave of jobs. According to a study carried out by the Malt platform in 2019, the number of freelancers or self-employed workers working in France has tripled in just ten years.

Faced with the novelty of this type of operation, companies have learned to understand this change. They use transition managers to adapt to this new reality. This is mainly in the fields of IT, finance and marketing.

Among the players working on this transition is the Cosme collective in Bordeaux. It is a group of several “freelancers” specialized in the field of communication, events and the web. This collective was created in early 2018, the team is composed of 10 freelancers led by Pauline Trequesser. They organize their site so that companies can get in touch with one of the freelancers more easily.

Another facet of freelancers: wage portage

Other platforms for connecting freelancers and companies have emerged in Bordeaux, such as Freeteam, headed by Philippe La Rosa. It notes the evolution of the organization of work and notes the current need to encourage new forms of employment, especially that of self-employed entrepreneurs. In this case, it is called wage portage. It is a triangular relationship between three actors. The portage consultant on one side, the wage porting company on the other, and finally, the client company. This interdependence relationship allows the consultant, previously hired by the portage company, to carry out missions corresponding to his expertise for clients of his choice.

These two examples, among many others, confirm once again Bordeaux and the surrounding regions’ interest in these new forms of employment. This will only improve and develop further since the evolution of new technologies is not about to stop anytime soon.

Changes in correlation with the labour market

At a time when technology and digitalization are constantly advancing. Considering the future of independent professions is therefore a must. We have a number of options.
First, it would be easy to imagine self-employment taking an important place in the labour market. Or, too strong a development of freelance status which will increase the risks of competitiveness between competitors. Perhaps the status of employee and the status of self-employed will once again become two separate statutes. Finally, it is possible to imagine a status that would allow for the accumulation of salaried and self-employed missions. Only the future will tell. In the meantime, we can only see the gradual evolution of this type of status.

Audrey KOZACZKA and Nelly M.


Malt 2019 – Freelancing in France 2019

IFOP – February 26, 2020 – Private executives and new forms of work – Wave 2

HBR France – New forms of work: a challenge for management

COSME Collective

ITG – Self-employment development: possible changes

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