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Amazon Flex: The Best Gig Company To Work For

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Amazon Flex revealed as the best gig company to work for in the US

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 A new study by DirectlyApply reveals the best companies and US cities to be a gig worker following a boom in the industry

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Amazon Flex

The rise of gig work has only increased since the coronavirus pandemic hit, with many choosing to take up independent contracted jobs as a way to generate an income. With the attraction of setting your own hours each week without the worry of having to book time off, it’s clear to see where the desire lies.

Job discovery platform DirectlyApply has revealed the best gig companies to work for, which looks at a breakdown of the best US gig companies, revealing key information gig workers will need to consider such as if you need your own equipment and if you receive company perks.

The study also looks at the top states to work in as a gig worker, taking into consideration nine cost and job opportunity factors including the cost of living, the number of restaurants & attractions, the number of advertised gig roles and more.

You can view the full study here: https://us.directlyapply.com/insights/best-states-and-gig-companies-to-work-for

Amazon Flex ranks as the best gig company to work for!

Rank Company Sick pay Company benefits Transport needed Equipment provided Search volume No. of employees
1 Amazon Flex Yes Yes Yes No 112,000,000 840,000
2 Uber Yes Yes Yes No 1,900,000 22,263
3 Lyft Yes Yes Yes Yes 786,000 4,779
4 Instacart Yes Yes Yes Yes 1,100,000 1,200
5 Wag! Yes Yes No No 5,200 2,851
6 Rover No Yes No Yes 239,000 500
7 Eat Street Yes Yes Yes Yes 56,000 100
8 AirBnb No Yes No No 9,100,000 6,300
9 UberEats No Yed Yes Yes 635,000 10,000
10 Postmates No Yes Yes Yes 1,200,000 5,341

The table above shows the top 10 companies out of the 30 company study.

Whilst being one of the biggest companies in the world, Amazon Flex also ranked 1st as the best gig company to work for. With the added benefit of company perks and sick pay, its popularity in the number of search results mean there is a high number of delivery and warehouse arrangement opportunities available, in turn meaning more work for you to pick up. Again, being able to pick your own hours is what draws many people in to working for a gig company and Amazon is no exception. Cab driver giants Uber and Lyft fall just behind Amazon in second and third spot.

Noticeable companies within the top ten are Wag! And Rover. Way! And Rover are dog walking gig companies which allow individuals to dog sit or dog walk for families who cannot be present themselves. Much different to the usual industries on this list, it’ll certainly appeal to a lot of people. After all, who wouldn’t want to be paid to look after a puppy?

An important part of working on an independent contract is the aspect of transport and admin information. For a lot of gig companies you need your own transport. Whether that’s a car or bike, you need to take this into consideration when choosing which company to apply for.

The below table shows key information that you need to know before applying for jobs at these gig companies.

Company Important information 
Amazon Flex Must pay fuel and mobile data
Uber 20-28% transaction fee (depending on vehicle size)
Lyft 20% transaction fee
Instacart Must be 18 years old, have a licence and vehicle
Wag! 100% of your earnings taken home
Rover 20% transaction fee
Eat Street Must pay fuel and mobile data
AirBnb 3% host fee
UberEats Must be over 18 years old
Postmates 100% of earnings taken home
Udemy 50% transaction fee on organic class bookings, 30% transaction fee with app bookings
DoorDash Must be over 18 years old
Fiver 20% transaction fee
Cabify 20% transaction fee
GoPuff Must be 21 years old, have a licence and vehicle
TaskRabbit 15% transaction fee
Favor Delivery Must be 18 years old, have a licence and vehicle
Etsy 5% transaction fee
Grubhub 100% of earnings taken home
Vrbo 5% commission fee, 3% payment processing fee
Just Eat 100% of earnings taken home
Turo Between 10-30% transaction fee
Caviar Must be 18 years old, have a licence and vehicle, have two years driving experience
Handy Must have experience within your field
Flipkey 8-16% of total rent cost paid in fees
Bite Squad Must be 18 years old, have a licence and vehicle
Shipt Must pay fuel and mobile data
Veyo Must be 21 years old, have a licence and vehicle with four doors
Dolly Must be 21 years old, have a licence, have a truck/van newer than 2000 reg
Delivery Dudes Must be 18 years old, have a licence and vehicle

 

New York ranks as the best state to be a gig worker!

Amazon Flex

Rank State Cost of lunch Cost of apartment Cost of 1 ltr gas No. of food and drink places No. of shops No. of Attractions No. of Roadside fatalities No. of gig companies No. of advertised gig roles 
1 New York $15 $1,661 $0.71 50,153 2,688 5,950 943 20 11,094
2 Florida $17 $1,757 $0.68 41,366 3,310 6,336 31 14 1,200
3 California $18 $3,351 $1.07 76,201 3,529 11,647 3,563 20 16,808
4 Ohio $13 $913 $0.64 22,547 880 2,459 1,068 16 5,851
5 Illinois $16 $1,609 $0.86 25,488 1,016 2,771 231 20 9,141
6 Texas $15 $1,422 $0.63 48,064 1,872 5,259 3,642 16 4,859
7 Pennsylvania $15 $1,298 $0.74 26,548 1,434 3,317 1,190 14 7,181
8 Massachusetts $14 $2,432 $0.70 15,797 1,182 2,878 360 16 8,660
9 Indiana $11.5 $728,66 $0.62 12,126 576 1,496 858 13 1,891
10 West Virginia $10 $625 $0.64 3,291 266 682 294 13 448

 

The table above shows the top 10 states out of all 50 states researched in the study.

With a high number of attractions, shops and currently gig jobs available, New York ranks as the best state to become a gig worker. Filled with not only the world famous vibe, the state provides the highest levels of opportunity for gig work. However, to accompany this, the cost of living is high. The cost of an everyday lunch which stands at $15 and litre of gas at $.071 are amongst the highest of the study, giving workers something to think about.

California boasts the highest number of gig work opportunities out of the top 30 states, with more than 16,000 being advertised. This paired with 20 gig companies means there’s a high level of variety for the gig work you could be doing. This could include being a delivery driver, a dog walker or a cab driver!

Experts share their thoughts on the gig economy during COVID-19:

Annabel Kaye, Director of Koffee Klatch – “The Gig economy has been accelerated by Covid. The change that was coming anyway has just got a lot faster as organisations have worked out that many jobs can be done remotely without losing productivity. With that homebased working comes a natural shift towards flexible working for employees. Just like the old school flexi time, as long as core hours and key objectives are covered, there is no need for everyone to work exactly the same hours in the same place.”

Dennis Relojo-Howell, founder of Psychreg – “I feel that remote working and flexible working will gain even more traction as a result of the pandemic. It’ll be a future packed with flexibility, choice, and opportunity.”

Spokesperson, Portify – “In the future we expect gig economy workers to play a large role in the recovery from any pandemic-induced economic crash. We expect the gig economy to grow in the future as more people turn to gig work to supplement their income or replace lost income streams.”



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How does the Uber decision impact the gig economy as a whole?

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The Supreme Court held that “Uber drivers were not in business on their own account”

We take a deep dive into this judgment which has had a final say on whether Uber drivers (and potentially other gig economy individuals) are workers.

A. ISSUES

  • Were Uber drivers working under workers’ contracts (and therefore qualify for the national minimum wage, paid annual leave and other workers’ rights)?
  • If so, were the drivers working under such contracts whenever they were logged into the Uber app (and not just when they were driving passengers to their destinations)?

B. PROCEEDINGS BELOW

  • The employment tribunal found that the drivers were “workers” as defined under s.230(3) of the Employment Rights Act 1996 (ERA), more commonly known as the limb (b) workers. The tribunal further found that the drivers were working for Uber London during any period when a driver had the Uber app switched on, was within the territory in which he was authorised to work and was able and willing to accept assignments.
  • The EAT and the Court of Appeal dismissed Uber’s appeal of the tribunal decision and the issues ultimately ended up in the Supreme Court. The case was heard on 21 and 22 July 2020 and the judgment was handed down on 19 February 2021.

 

C. BACKGROUND KNOWLEDGE

Section 230(3) ERA

The term “worker” is defined by s.230(3) as:

an individual who has entered into or works under (or, where the employment has ceased, worked under) –

(a) a contract of employment or

(b) any other contract, whether express or implied and (if it is express) whether oral or in writing, whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services for another party to the contract whose status is not by virtue of the contract that of a client or customer or any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual;

and any reference to a worker’s contract shall be construed accordingly.

Limb (b) has three elements:

(i) a contract whereby an individual undertakes to perform work or services for the other party;

(ii) an undertaking to do the work or perform the services personally;

(iii) a requirement that the other party to the contract is not a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual

This case was concerned with the first element of limb (b) viz., whether there was a worker’s contract. There was no dispute between the parties as to whether the services were performed personally (which they were) and that Uber was not a client or customer of the drivers.

The issue of whether there is a right of substitution in the contract and whether this was actively utilised in practice by the workers is an issue that is more pertinent to the second element of limb (b). This issue did not arise in this case (see below Section E Analysis).

Bates van Winkelhof v Clyde & Co

Lady Hale Bates van Winkelhof maintained that employment law distinguishes between three types of people:

  • those employed under a contract of employment;
  • those self-employed people who are in business on their own account;
  • intermediate class of workers who are self-employed but who provide their services as part of a profession or business undertaking carried on by someone else.

D. SUPREME COURT JUDGEMENT

ISSUE 1: WERE DRIVERS WORKING UNDER WORKERS’ CONTRACTS (AND THEREFORE QUALIFY FOR THE NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE, PAID ANNUAL LEAVE AND OTHER WORKERS’ RIGHTS)?

The central plank of this judgment centres whether Uber drivers are to be regarded as working under contracts with Uber whereby they undertook to perform services for Uber as opposed to in business on their own account. The conclusion that Uber drivers are workers and not in business on their own account is based on three premises which will be considered below.

1. THAT WRITTEN TERMS OF A CONTRACT BETWEEN THE DRIVERS AND UBER ARE NOT A STARTING POINT IN DETERMINING THEIR WORKER STATUS.

The Supreme Court maintained that to state that a contract is a starting point is at odds with the purpose of statutory protection afforded to workers. Employers are often in a position to dictate contract terms and the individual performing the work has little or no ability to influence those terms that give rise to the statutory protections stipulated under the National Minimum Wage Act or the Working Time Regulations.

This approach is further supported by the fact that there is prohibition on contracting out of such statutory protections as can be found under s.203 (1) ERA which renders as null and void any provision or agreement that purports to exclude or limit the operation of the statute.

2. THE STARTING POINT FOR DETERMINING WORKER STATUS IS THAT ENDORSED IN THE CASE OF CARMICHAEL V NATIONAL POWER.

The House of Lords decision in Carmichael v National Power [1999] 1 WLR 2042 stated that where there is no written contract between the parties or at least where the written contract did not represent the true nature of the relationship, it would be appropriate to look at the following factors:

  • the language of the correspondence between the parties;
  • the way in which the relationship had operated;
  • evidence of the parties as to their understanding of it.

The Supreme Court stated that although written terms should not be ignored they are not to be treated as a starting point for analysis, especially where the bargaining power of the parties means that the individual had no say in drafting the terms and the written agreement would not represent how the parties actually conducted themselves. The Court also maintained that often the objective of the written terms is to circumvent altogether the statutory protections that would otherwise be afforded to the individuals concerned.

3. IN DETERMINING THE STATUS OF AN INDIVIDUAL WORKER, THE DEGREE OF CONTROL EXERCISED EMPLOYER IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE: THE GREATER THE CONTROL, THE MORE LIKELY THE INDIVIDUAL WILL BE CLASSIFIED AS A WORKER.

Key indicators of this control are subordination and dependence upon another person (employer) in relation to the work done. The greater the subordination and dependence, the greater the degree of control exercised by the employer.

CONCLUSION

Applying the above analyses, the Supreme Court identified five aspects of the employment tribunal’s findings to support the conclusion that Uber drivers were working for and under contracts with Uber.

  • The remuneration paid to the drivers is fixed by Uber and the drivers have no say in it.
  • The contractual terms under which they work are dictated by Uber.
  • Once logged onto the Uber app, the driver’s choice of accepting or rejecting requests is constrained by Uber, for example if the acceptance rate falls below a certain percentage then a penalty is imposed on the driver by way of being logged out for 10 minute before they can be logged back on.
  • The way the services are delivered by the drivers is tightly controlled by Uber, for example under the rating system, if it falls below a certain level for a period of time Uber can effectively terminate the contract with that driver.
  • Restriction of communication between driver and customer means that the drivers have little or no ability to improve their economic position through professional or entrepreneurial skill other than working longer hours whilst constantly meeting Uber’s measures of performance.

ISSUE 2: WERE THE DRIVERS WORKING UNDER WORKERS’ CONTRACTS WHENEVER THEY WERE LOGGED INTO THE UBER APP (AND NOT JUST WHEN THEY WERE DRIVING PASSENGERS TO THEIR DESTINATIONS)?

Put the question another way: during what periods where the drivers working?

The tribunal at first instance found that a driver was working under a worker’s contract when:

  • he had the Uber app switched on;
  • he was within the territory in which he was authorised to use the app; and
  • he was ready and willing to accept trips

Uber argued that the drivers were only working under workers’ contracts when they were actually driving passengers to their destinations. This is because, they argued, the driver had a right to turn down work even when they were logged onto the app and so the driver had no contractual obligation to undertake work for Uber whilst logged onto the app.

The Supreme Court rejected this argument on several grounds:

  • that the driver has the right to turn down work does not preclude a finding that he is employed under a worker’s contract so long as there is an “irreducible minimum of obligation” i.e. if there is an obligation to do some work, then the right to turn down work is not fatal.
  • the Welcome Packet issued to drivers at the start referred to logging onto the Uber app as “going on duty” and instructed drivers that “Going on duty means you are willing and able to accept trip requests“.
  • in reality, there was more than an irreducible minimum of obligation because a penalty would be imposed on those who turn down work too often.

E. ANALYSIS

This judgment is consequential not least because it does not just affect Uber but the companies in the wider gig economy which will have to (if haven’t done so already) review and rearrange their working model, in some cases quite drastically. As part of this effort, any analysis that relied on previous judgments that focused on the right of substitution will have to be adjusted to take into consideration this judgment. Although the substitution analysis is relevant to the second element of limb (B) under s.230(3) ERA (namely, personal service), this judgment will form the bedrock of determining the worker status going forward.

A key takeaway is that the Supreme Court has somewhat relegated the importance of written agreements between the parties as a mere factor to consider, and not a starting point for substantial analysis. This does not mean that employers should pay less attention to the written agreement but it does mean that the employers have to place greater weight and effort into aligning the written agreement with the actual practical aspects of how the workers work.

Another key commercial impact of this judgment is that attempts to maintain the quality of their brand will likely be construed as tools for control that enhance subordination and dependence of workers on the organisations.

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You fought Facebook, why not Uber? Albanese wants Morrison to fight for gig economy workers | The Canberra Times

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news, latest-news, facebook, uber, gig economy, media bargaining code

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has challenged the Morrison government to take up the fight to gig-economy companies in same way it has technology giants Google and Facebook. Mr Albanese continued his campaign for industrial relations reform on Thursday, inviting rideshare and food delivery drivers to Parliament House to highlight poor working conditions in the sector. Labor plans to boost workers’ rights if it wins the next federal election, a move which could set up a brawl with major players in the sector. Asked if he was prepared to fight big global companies during an election campaign, Mr Albanese drew parallels with laws passed this week to ensure tech giants Google and Facebook paid news organisations for content. He argued that just as the Morrison government was using the media bargaining code to help protect the jobs of journalists, it should legislate to support gig-economy workers. Mr Albanese said in both cases new laws were needed to deal with issues which had emerged in the past decade. “The government, opposition and this parliament have been prepared to take tough decisions. We have been prepared to stand ground, to legislate for a code, and to do that in order to defend Australia’s national interests and defend the jobs of journalists,” he told reporters. READ MORE: “Labor stood with the government on those issues. It was the right thing to do. “[Gig-economy workers] James, Ashley and Malcolm deserve as much respect and dignity as the [journalists] at this press conference. They deserve it. “Josh Frydenberg got onto Mark Zuckerberg about Facebook. Why isn’t the government prepared to negotiate on behalf of these people?” Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content:

/images/transform/v1/crop/frm/LLBstgPA4H8EG9DTTGcXBL/a02be749-9ffa-4e8f-9275-bbdaf22ce99c.jpg/r0_340_4256_2745_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg



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Boost for gig economy as Reading and Leeds festivals set to go ahead

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Reading and Leeds music festivals will go ahead this summer following the Government’s announcement of a road map out of lockdown, organisers have said.

The sister events – known for their mix of rap, rock and pop – are due to take place between August 27 and 29 after both were cancelled in 2020 due to the onset of the pandemic.

According to plans announced on Monday, the Government hopes to lift all remaining restrictions on social contact by June 21 at the earliest.

This would mean larger events can go ahead and nightclubs can finally reopen.

Confirming their 2021 events would take place, the official Reading and Leeds Twitter account posted: “Following the Government’s recent announcement, we can’t wait to get back to the fields this summer. LET’S GO.”

Reading will return to the Richfield Avenue venue while Leeds will once again take place in Bramham Park.

Stormzy, Liam Gallagher, Post Malone, Catfish And The Bottlemen, Disclosure and Queens Of The Stone Age are all scheduled to headline across the weekend.

Acts including Charli XCX, Yungblud, rapper Jack Harlow, rockers Neck Deep and Norwegian singer-songwriter Sigrid were recently added to the bill.

Latitude music festival lineup

Liam Gallagher is due to headline (Aaron Chown/PA)

The UK festival circuit has been hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic with its 2020 season effectively wiped out.

In January Glastonbury was cancelled for a second successive year after organisers said they had tried to “move heaven and earth”.

Greg Parmley, chief executive of Live, a trade body for the live music industry, welcomed the news but said the festival season was still in danger.

He said: “Today’s confirmation that Reading and Leeds music festivals will be taking place in August is a great moment that will give people hope of better times to come.

“The Prime Minister’s announcement on Monday has given some organisers confidence but there is still a large amount of uncertainty ahead of us. With the Government only committing to provide a week’s notice on the lifting of all restrictions, this will mean for many it will just be too late and we will see further cancellations.

99% of Glastonbury tents taken home

Glastonbury was cancelled for a second time (Aaron Chown/PA)

“This is why, despite the good news today, the Government must commit to further sector-specific support for our industry in the budget as we start our long road to recovery.”

In response to the threat posed by the pandemic, the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee launched an inquiry into the future of festivals.

Last month the committee wrote to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to ask him to extend Government-backed insurance schemes to music and performing arts festivals.

Festivals added £1.76 billion in gross value to the economy in 2019, with almost one in three Brits watching Glastonbury on TV.

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