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Here’s What Stay-at-home Parents And Gig Economy Workers Should Not Miss Out On

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This article was written in partnership with Great Eastern for GREAT Comprehensive Care.

For many working Singaporeans, employee insurance and medical benefits provide some security in the event they fall ill—something most self-employed adults do not have the luxury of getting.

So for those who are freelancers, home-business owners, and stay-at-home parents, there are many things they are missing out on when it comes to getting protected from the unexpected.

Being a stay-at-home mum or dad

The parents of today, though very much an empowered generation, are more traditional than you’d think. As the desire for flexibility grows to become a top priority for parents of today, more parents choose to stay at home to be with their children during their most important years. 

Be it by choice, or macro factors like the current economic condition, an increasing number of parents are staying at home (and work from there).

Freelancers rely on the influx of work from the gig economy. Home-business owners compete with many other businesses, be it with the big, commercial ones or other smaller ones.

On top of this, those who are not employed by companies or corporations do not get the medical benefits that cover hospitalisation, accidents and outpatient care. As self-employed adults, getting comprehensive coverage has become a responsibility to themselves and their loved ones.

The “occupational hazards”

Therefore, it is no surprise that some would even just neglect insurance coverages and healthcare plans altogether—thinking it’s just an “added expense”.

Unfortunately, having no insurance policy to fall back on when the unexpected happens could eventually add to even more financial burdens on top of the physical and psychological stress one will be in should things don’t go as planned.    
As a parent, that’s the least desirable situation you want to put your family in.         

While it is always good to hope for the best and keep a positive outlook in life, being prepared for the unexpected and saving for the rainy day is still a much better move for any parent who is self-employed. This is especially true in the current climate: an economic environment that directly impacts jobs not only for those in the big corporate companies, but also freelancers in the gig economy and those making a living from home.

How can self-employed workers ensure they are covered

Signing up for a health insurance policy is key to you being able to focus on the important things in life. The next step to address is “what do I need to cover?” Thankfully, there is now an insurance policy crafted with the self-employed, freelance and gig economy workers in mind: GREAT Comprehensive Care by Great Eastern.

GREAT Comprehensive Care

It’s time to #lifeproof yourself! Great Eastern now offers an insurance policy that provides coverage for hospitalisation, personal accidents and outpatient care for those who are not covered by corporate insurance policies.     

Now, working harder for your family doesn’t have to be at the expense of your own health and safety.

 

What is GREAT Comprehensive Care

An annual renewable plan that comes in two plan types: basic and deluxe – with premiums from 73 cents a day*, or from about $22 a month.

The basic plan (from $263.22 per year) provides a daily hospital cash benefit of $100 for up to 365 days, and an additional payout of $100 a day on admission to an intensive care unit (ICU), for up to 30 days per hospitalisation. A lump sum payout of $100,000 for accidental death or total and permanent disability, or $10,000 in the event of death due to complications from COVID-19. This plan also provides an outpatient healthcare coverage of 6 teleconsultations with Doctor Anywhere^.

For added coverage, the deluxe plan is the upsized version of the basic plan that provides a cash benefit of $150 for up to 365 days, and an additional payout of $150 a day on admission to an ICU, for up to 30 days per hospitalisation. The plan also provides a lump sum payout of $150,000 for accidental death or total and permanent disability; or $10,000 for death due to COVID-19 complications. Instead of 6, the deluxe plan entitles plan holders to 12 teleconsultations with Doctor Anywhere^.

 

Who is it for?

If you are a Singapore Citizen, a Permanent Resident (PR), a holder of valid Employment Pass (EP holders or S Pass holders) or Dependant Pass who are aged between 16 and 65; and are residing in Singapore, you may purchase any plan under this policy.

It is that simple! As an added bonus for all theAsianparent readers, enter promo code “TAP” at checkout within the Doctor Anywhere app to receive a special discount!

Whatever your reason to choose flexibility when it comes to earning money, it doesn’t have to be at the expense of your accident and health insurance.

 

Learn more on you can get yourself a great coverage and how you can #lifeproof yourself for your family, visit the Great Eastern’s website.

 

 

* Daily rates are based on the annual premium of GREAT Comprehensive Care Basic, divided by 360 days and rounded off to the nearest cent.

^ Doctor Anywhere Video-Consultation Service – this benefit only covers the cost of Registered Medical Practitioner video-consultations on Doctor Anywhere platform and does not include any medical tests, treatments, medications and delivery costs.

 

Disclaimers

All ages specified refer to age next birthday (ANB).

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Singapore Citizens, Permanent Residents (PRs) and holders of valid Employment Pass (EP holders or S Pass holders) or Dependant Pass who are aged between 16 and 65 (ANB); and is residing in Singapore, may purchase any plan (Basic, Deluxe) under this policy.

The above is for general information only. It is not a contract of insurance. The precise terms and conditions of this insurance plan are specified in the policy contract. It is usually detrimental to replace an existing accident and health plan with a new one. A penalty may be imposed for early plan termination and the new plan may cost more, or have less benefit at the same cost.

This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit the Life Insurance Association (LIA) or SDIC websites (www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg).

This is only product information provided by Great Eastern. You may wish to seek advice from a qualified adviser before buying the product. If you choose not to seek advice from a qualified adviser, you should consider whether the product is suitable for you. Buying health insurance products that are not suitable for you may impact your ability to finance your future healthcare needs. If you decide that the insurance coverage is not suitable after purchasing, you may terminate the coverage in accordance with the free-look provision, if any, and the insurer may recover from you any expense incurred by the insurer in underwriting the application.

Information correct as at 10 September 2020.

The post Here’s What Stay-at-home Parents And Gig Economy Workers Should Not Miss Out On appeared first on theAsianparent – Your Guide to Pregnancy, Baby & Raising Kids.

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Amazon puts out call for gig workers to pick orders at Whole Foods

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Dive Brief:

  • Amazon is recruiting gig workers to shop for and deliver groceries for Whole Foods Market customers who place online orders, according to a Bloomberg report.
  • Drivers can sign up for the program, known as Shop and Deliver, by reviewing an online tutorial about how to pick, pack and safely handle groceries and passing a quiz.
  • The program is related to Amazon Flex, an initiative the e-commerce provider launched in 2015 that uses independent contractors to deliver packages.

Dive Insight:

Amazon’s effort to use contractors instead of employees to pick Whole Foods orders represents a change of course for the company as it continues its drive to disrupt the grocery industry. Whole Foods, which the company bought in 2017, has until now relied on its own store employees to assemble orders from online customers.

The new program brings in an additional dimension to Amazon Flex, which typically limits contractors to driving orders from an Amazon staging facility to customers’ homes. By entrusting gig workers to put orders together for Whole Foods customers, Amazon is potentially increasing the risk that items could be damaged, spoiled or delivered late that is inherent in grocery e-commerce.

“Delivery from A to B is a beautiful on-demand task because it’s very straightforward, very repeatable and you don’t need a lot of training, [but] tasks in stores are often much more complicated,” said Jordan Berke, a former Walmart executive and e-commerce expert who runs Tomorrow Retail Consulting. “A person that comes to your store once a day or once every two days to pick two orders is always learning, while a person that picks 50 orders five days a week” becomes highly familiar with where items are located and how to handle them.

The detailed website Amazon has set up to recruit workers for the Shop and Deliver program reflects the complexity and potential pitfalls associated with the picking process. The site provides step-by-step instructions about how to keep food safe, bag products, select produce and otherwise properly — and efficiently — assemble grocery orders.

“What you’re looking at here is a fairly disruptive efficiency step toward unlocking potential efficiency,” Berke said. “The platform that figures this out and is able to take a part-time on-demand worker and make them as efficient as an in-store dedicated worker does unlock some significant advantages.”

The use of contractors to handle grocery picking is nothing new, of course. Companies like Instacart have depended for years on gig workers to shop for and deliver grocery orders, and Whole Foods itself worked with Instacart until the companies split up in 2019. But while Instacart works as a partner with grocers, Whole Foods has enjoyed an advantage by having its own, store-based employees manage the order-management process.

Amazon’s decision to test the labor model in Whole Foods stores is part of the company’s broader effort to try new ways of selling groceries, something no other company is as well-equipped to do, said Tom Furphy, a former Amazon executive who is now CEO and managing director of Consumer Equity Partners, which invests in retail technology.​

The e-commerce retailer’s extraordinarily deep pockets put it in a position to be able to experiment freely and try multiple approaches at once as it looks for the best ways to make inroads in a line of business, Furphy said. Those expansive resources also give Amazon the ability to continuously look for ways to reduce costs while keeping customer service top of mind.

Whole Foods has been concentrating on lowering prices, and the company’s CEO, John Mackey, said its ownership by Amazon has played a key role in helping it cut costs, CNBC reported. 

“Amazon is always going to look for ways to keep prices as low as possible. They’re always going to look for ways to keep their cost of service as low as possible, and always look for ways to be super responsive in fulfilling customer demand,” said Furphy, who was formerly Amazon’s vice president of consumables and Amazon Fresh. “Those are three constants that will always exist as long as Amazon’s around, and they will absolutely look to deliver on that in the grocery environment.”

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Gig Workers Continue To Experience Problems Getting Unemployment Benefits From Colorado Department Of Labor – CBS Denver

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– It’s been months and Simone F.M. Spinner is still unable to get her unemployment. We started talking with her in March, when she was applying for help as a gig worker.

(credit: CBS)

“I work in hospitality and wine and academia, tourism. All of those industries have just been decimated.”

At first when she applied for unemployment, the state was trying to get a system up and running to provide assistance to gig workers like Simone, who gets the majority of her income from freelance work.

“I understand back when I talked to you in March that these difficulties were happening and gig employers, gig employees were never able to apply before but they’ve had six months to figure this out.”

And still, she’s having troubles.

The State of Colorado said it had fixed the tool many people were stymied by as they tried to apply for help recently.

(credit: CBS)

“The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment (CDLE) re-launched its online and telephone certification functions for the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) unemployment benefits program after technical difficulties,” wrote chief communications officer Cher Roybal Haavind in a statement.

The online and phone system had been down since Monday, overwhelmed with requests. But the problems with that system are only part of the frustrations for many people like Simone, who have been unable to get benefits.

“I still haven’t been able to file correctly to get the gig work section of the money of the employments benefits because of the one W2 that I have,” she said.

She has not gotten benefits since July when her initial unemployment help exhausted. Less than a quarter of her income came from part-time teaching work. That meant receiving a W2. Most of her income was freelancing for which the government indicated all she had to do was show proof of income from recent tax returns. But her attempts to get onto the system as a worker with both types of income have been frustrated time after time. So she’s called, a lot.

“It’s been a complete nightmare,” she said.

(credit: CBS)

On July 25, she entered into a cue for a callback about her problems. Her appointment time: Oct. 26 at 10 a.m.

“And it’s a 10-minute call.”

The unemployment system has had troubles dealing with unique situations. Simone owns a home, but is concerned as she runs out of money.

“I am worried about losing my house. I’m worried about not being able to find a job.”

She has applied for over 150 jobs with no success. Those include many out of her industry.

“I’ve applied for everything from working at Starbucks to working as a writer for nonprofits and everything in between, Costco. Just about anything I can find,” she told us.

(credit: CBS)

But her advanced degree, a doctorate, may be a problem with potential employers thinking she won’t stay. Now, she waits for the system to work for her as a pandemic cripples her industry.

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California unemployment claims remain high at 230,000; claims from gig workers fall 53% in coronavirus era

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New official figures on new claims for unemployment benefits in California dipped slightly last week but remained at the high pandemic level. Meanwhile, applications for special help for the self-employed and gig workers plummeted 53% last week, even ahead of new rules to stem a surge in suspected fraud.

New applications for conventional unemployment insurance were 230,225 last week, down 13,000 from 243,404 the week before, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

New claims have been 200,000–300,000 since late May, following a big spike just after the state’s shelter orders for the coronavirus went into place in mid-March. Weekly claims were 30,000–50,000 before the virus.

Californians last week made up 29% of the 790,000 new claims nationwide, up from 28% of 866,000 applications the week before.

Residents receiving traditional unemployment benefits totaled 2.76 million in the most recent tally, for the week ending Sept. 5, down 256,000 from 3.01 million the week before.

Californians accounted for 22% of the 12.3 million Americans receiving benefits as of Sept. 5, roughly the same proportion as the in the week before, according to the latest figures available on recipients.

For the new Pandemic Unemployment Assistance benefits for the self-employed and gig workers, put into place in California in late April from the federal CARES Act, new claims totaled 204,700 in the Golden State last week, down by 236,000 from nearly 441,000 the week before.

On Sept. 11, the California Employment Development Department said it will require more proof before payments are made on the new type of benefits, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. The department will no longer automatically backdate claims for the new benefits to the date of claimed work loss and limit multiple claims at the same address.

It’s one of the reforms Gov. Gavin Newsom has said he’s trying to make to the state’s employment safety net, which at one point had a backlog of 1 million claims and was not answering a number of calls.

The roll of Californians getting the new benefits dropped by almost 592,000 the week ending Aug. 29, the latest data available, to 6.39 million, down from 6.98 million the week before. Recipients of these benefits in the state accounted for 44% of the 14.5 million getting them nationwide, down from almost 48% of 14.6 million the week before.

The hardships of the pandemic economy also came just three months after a new California law, Assembly Bill 5, took effect, reclassifying many independent contractors as employees. However, categories of workers have been excluded from that law by legislation and court orders in the months since.

Jeff Quackenbush covers wine, construction and real estate. Before the Business Journal, he wrote for Bay City News Service in San Francisco. He has a degree from Walla Walla University. Reach him at jquackenbush@busjrnl.com or 707-521-4256.

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