Upwork, the world’s work marketplace, has said that it will be shutting down its support for new business generation in Russia and Belarus in regards to Russia’s invasion into Ukraine.
Hayden Brown, the President & CEO of Upwork said that Russian President’s war against Ukraine has challenged the company’s mission, values and its operational ability to bring economic empowerement to those who seek it.
“As the world’s work marketplace, Upwork’s mission is to create economic opportunities so people have better lives. In our more than 20 years of doing business, we have worked hard to bring our marketplace to more people, with the belief that when people have the ability to innovate their careers and work, they can reach their full potential,” Hayden Brown said explaining the company’s mission and values.
The first step for Upwork will be shutting down its support for new business generation in Russia and Belarus. Over the next few days, freelancers and clients in Russia and Belarus will no longer be able to sign up for new accounts, initiate new contracts, and visible in search.
“We honor the relationships that exist between our customers and recognize the swift adjustments that they will need to make as they process this announcement. As such, existing contracts with talent and clients in the region will remain open, with final billing due by May 1, 2022,” Mr Brown said in her statement to the media.
“We made this decision with the utmost consideration. From the beginning of the war, Upwork has been fervently working to support the safety, security, and well-being of our many team members in the region, as well as the business needs of our customers. We fully understand the significant impact this decision has on our Upwork community in Russia and Belarus, and we want these customers to know that if and when they are able to relocate to regions where we operate, we will be eager to support them in continuing their work on our platform. Additionally, should the geopolitical situation in Russia and Belarus change, we hope to be able to resume operations,” she added.
To further support Ukrainian freelancers, Upwork has donated $1 million donation to Direct Relief International in support of the Ukrainian population.
The company will also have program enhancements to make it easier for Ukrainian freelancers to preserve the careers they have worked so hard to establish, whether or not they are currently able to work.
Upwork will also have programs to make it easier for clients to maintain their existing relationships with and provide financial assistance to talent in Ukraine and a $100,000 matching program for donations from Upwork’s team members to aid in humanitarian relief in Ukraine.
“Our hearts and support go out to all those affected by this senseless aggression against Ukraine. We hope that a path to peace is ahead for Ukraine, and that we are able to bring our mission back to Russia and Belarus in the future,” the Upwork CEO concluded in his statement.