I have seen a number of jobs where the freelancer charged as little as $3 per hour. Surely this would be illegal in most of the West and, on this jobs, the client and/or the freelancer are in a Western country (including Eastern Europe where many countries are in the EU).
Upwork insists that they have to follow country rules, like charging me VAT, which I cannot recover, but they are not following minimum wage rules. Clients paying these hourly rates are exploitng the freelancers and it creates the idea that freelancers are vulnerable to exploitation.
Minimum wage applies to employees. There are no employees on Upwork, and there is (at least in the U.S.) no minimum wage for freelancers/independent contractors.
In a sense, freelancers are vulnerable to exploitation as compared with employees: there's no minimum wage, no overtime requirement, most discrimination laws don't apply, etc. That's a choice people make when they decide to operate their own businesses rather than go to work for someone else, and they also get to choose the rates they'll accept for their work.
@Federico D wrote:
I have seen a number of jobs where the freelancer charged as little as $3 per hour. Surely this would be illegal in most of the West
Apart from the already mentioned fact that there is no such thing as a minimum wage outside of employment, $ 3.00 per hour is, as an example, 15 times (!!) the minimum wage in one country with a huge number of Upwork freelancer, and more than a doctor earns in a huge percentage of the word.
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