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BREAKING: Upwork Removes 20% Fee; 3 Other Big Changes to the Platform

Ready for some big news, freelancers? There are some major changes coming to the world’s largest freelancer marketplace. In a surprise announcement by the company earlier this morning, effective May 3, 2023, Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk) will be removing the sliding-scale service fee structure from its platform and replacing it with a simple flat fee.

What Is the Old Upwork Fee?

Prior to the changes announced by Upwork, clients were charged a 20% fee on their earnings when they hired freelancers from outside of the United States. With this new change, the fee for hiring outside of the U.S. has been reduced to 10%, and the fee for hiring inside of the United States is now 0%. This will be a major cost savings for clients who are often on tight budgets.



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For the uninitiated, the current fee structure features a sliding scale. This means that Upwork charges freelancers a:

  • 20% fee per client spend on transactions less than $500
  • 10% fee per client spend on transactions between $500.01-$10,000
  • 10% fee on all Upwork Enterprise client transactions
  • 5% fee per client spend on transactions of $10,000.01 or more.

Are There Any Other Changes to the Platform?

In addition to the 20% fee removed for clients using Upwork, there are three other significant changes to the platform. These include greater visibility and easier payment options for contract agreements, more resources for successful freelancer hiring, and increased safety protocols to protect freelancers’ financial information. All of these changes stand to benefit both employers and freelance professionals who use the Upwork platform.

How Can I Take Advantage of These Changes?

Taking advantage of Upwork’s changes can be simple and straightforward. Once the fee has been removed, employers and freelance professionals will have greater visibility of contract agreements and payment options to make the process smoother. Additionally, employers can use the resources provided by Upwork to ensure successful hiring and good working relationships, while freelancers can take advantage of enhanced safety protocols to protect their financial information.

What’s the Impact of This Change on My Business?

There are a few things that employers and freelancers should consider when considering Upwork’s new fee structure. Employers should be aware that the cut in fees could lead to more competition and possibly reduced rates, whereas freelancers need to ensure they are taking proper steps to update their profiles when possible and making sure they are offering competitive rates and services. Both employers and freelancers should take advantage of the resources offered by Upwork for successful hiring outcomes or protection from risks.

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