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Why the Uber driver case has the potential to alter Canada’s gig economy forever

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Heller was a driver for UberEats who argued that he was an employee, not an independent contractor. That meant Uber owed him overtime, vacation, holiday pay, as well as other entitlements.

The Supreme Court didn’t answer the question of whether Heller and other Uber drivers were employees or not, so in that respect the real issue lies ahead. But it did remove an important roadblock, paving the way for a potentially $400 million lawsuit.

Tucked away in the contractor agreement that every Uber driver must sign before they can start working is an arbitration clause.

The clause required drivers to bring any problems to arbitration in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and not to an Ontario court. The arbitration in Amsterdam would cost around $14,000 in administrative fees up front, as well as the cost of transport and legal representation in the Netherlands. Something no Uber driver could even possibly afford. Take Heller himself, who earns around $400 to $600 a week for 40 or more hours of work.

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BBVA, Anthemis invest in U.K. gig economy fintech Wollit | PaymentsSource

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BBVA and venture capitalist Anthemis Group are providing seed funds to U.K. fintech Wollit that will offer a subscription-based cash flow product for gig economy workers.

The seed funding is provided by BBVA’s and Anthemis Group’s Venture Creation Partnership, which was founded in 2018. Its other investors included Plug & Play Ventures, Form Ventures, MAHR Projects and other notable angels, Wollit reported in its blog post . Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“This funding supports our first product, The Wollit Income Promise, which offers a financial safety net for the 14 million U.K. workers whose income fluctuates from month-to-month. With this, we set to end their monthly gamble of feast or famine and provide a safer, more sustainable option than the short-term, risky alternatives,” Liad Shababo, Wollit’s CEO, said in a press release.

Separately, Finextra announced that the BBVA & Anthemis investment was part of a £1 million seed fundraising round.

Wollit stated that its Income Promise product is an income stability tool that enables workers to take home the same amount of money each month even if their hours and earnings fluctuate by using its subscription-based service.

The primary target of the Income Promise are gig economy workers or what Wollit called “zero-hour workers,” people whose contracts do not guarantee any hours of work at all. Examples of these types of workers could include food delivery people working for Deliveroo. Wollit reported that its total addressable market comprises 43% of the U.K. workforce who live without the financial security of a stable income.

Wollit considers its product to be socially sensitive to the plight of millions of workers whose income fluctuates with every pay period. The Income Promise product will be accessed by downloading an Apple or Android app and answering a few basic questions to determine a worker’s credit limit which is personalized for each applicant.

Each month if a worker is short of their usual earnings, Wollit will offer a direct debit top-up offer, as it does not exceed their total credit limit and the user’s subscription fees are up to date. In the months the worker exceeds their normal earnings, Wollit will seek to recoup the top-up funds owed.



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Who really benefits from the gig economy? – MSNBC

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The New Normal: TalkCounsel Introduces The Gig Economy in The Nigerian Legal Sector

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The Future of Hiring Lawyers During COVID-19 and Beyond for 200 Million Nigerians

Christian Nwachukwu, Cofounder of TalkCounsel

With the spread of COVID-19, most industries have adjusted their standard practices of conducting business. The legal profession is no exception, with TalkCounsel at the helm redefining the legal experience for countless Nigerians. TalkCounsel’s digital workspace hosts vetted lawyers that offer a comprehensive range of services equipped to cater to the multifaceted Nigerian community’s ever-changing needs.

It’s often the case in human affairs that the most relevant lessons emerge from the most devastating times. The onslaught of COVID-19 has made apparent the critical role technology plays in business and our day-to-day lives. The new reality arising from the ongoing pandemic is the importance of digital systems and solutions. Some organizations were in the throes of digital 

transformations pre-pandemic. COVID-19 accelerated their efforts and forced others to implement digital capabilities for the first time as a means of survival. This unprecedented period made room for rifts to be addressed by the likes of Zoom and Slack that offered tech-solutions to a world reeling from the abrupt and rapid shift to virtual operations and interactions. 

The legal community in Nigeria was not spared of the growing need to adopt tech-solutions in the advancement of lawyering. As evidence of such, several courts sitting in Nigeria adopted Zoom or Skype for court proceedings. The pandemic and restriction of human contact resulted in a burden for both the legal community and the public. Multiple clients expressed difficulty finding, hiring, and collaborating with lawyers in Nigeria remotely. The inability to do so prompted a decline in legal services requests, which affected the revenue stream for attorneys in Nigeria. 

In addressing this setback, TalkCounsel was birthed by a Nigerian-trained attorney, Christian Nwachukwu, and Gina Onyiuke in the United States. TalkCounsel is a cloud-based legal workspace that enables businesses and individuals within and beyond Nigeria to find, hire and collaborate with attorneys in Nigeria remotely without ever visiting a law office. With TalkCounsel, requesting and finding legal help has never been easier.

As legal practice in Nigeria continues to grow in size and capacity, and considering the current state of the world, it is evident that a conflation of law and technology should take place. By merging the two, quality legal services can be made accessible to the average Nigerian and prospective foreign clients in need of legal services in Nigeria during this challenging time and beyond. And all from the comfort of one’s couch using your device of choice. In altering the Nigerian legal landscape, TalkCounsel seeks to ensure that Nigeria’s legal digital future is more robust coming out of COVID-19 than it was coming in. 

Thus far, TalkCounsel has accumulated more than 1,000,000 impressions and still counting. Moreover, our strategic partnership with partners in North America and Europe will, in turn, boost the income stream for Nigerian lawyers, as well as the nation’s GDP.

To learn more about TalkCounsel, visit our website at www.talkcounsel.com



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