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The Workers Lab Announces Tech Solution That Helps Gig Workers Access Unemployment Benefits

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OAKLAND, Calif., April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Workers Lab is excited to announce a technology solution in partnership with Steady that assists gig workers in providing easily verifiable income documents, helping to secure life-saving unemployment benefits that keep workers and their families fed, housed, and supported.

“Our unemployment insurance system was designed largely to serve workers in traditional nine-to-five jobs, not for gig workers who are everything from domestic workers and farm workers to ride share drivers and grocery deliverers,” said The Workers Lab CEO Adrian Haro. “The Workers Lab was glad to see gig workers receive access to unemployment assistance through the pandemic relief packages. However, state agencies are having a hard time administering unemployment benefits to gig workers. That’s where The Workers Lab and our partners come in. We acted quickly to engage partners and develop, and test, a tech solution that’s been informed by workers and effectively addresses the needs of state labor departments.”

There are several reasons why processing unemployment benefits for gig workers has been marked by confusion, delay and inefficiency. Many gig workers are paid multiple sources, multiple times, and the unemployment system is not set up to verify gig workers’ decentralized income streams. This means that workers must patch together things like bank statements, app screenshots, and spreadsheets to try and report income in a way the state can verify. Once that information gets to unemployment agencies, state employees often have to manually piece all the paperwork together. That takes time and creates room for errors.

Steady, the leading income intelligence platform for 1099, gig, and hourly workers, will assist states in verifying workers’ income to get unemployment benefits out more efficiently. Steady has already been used by The Workers Lab to verify workers’ income and identify significant income loss during the pandemic. The result has been a distribution of $3.2M+ in emergency cash grants to workers in need through The Workers Lab’s Innovation Fund. Steady and The Workers Lab have now partnered to develop and test this tech solution to more easily deliver unemployment benefits to gig workers. The app offers a streamlined reporting process to lower the burden for overwhelmed state unemployment agencies and minimize fraud. 

Read more about The Workers Lab Design Sprint at www.theworkerslab.com.

About The Workers Lab
At The Workers Lab, our purpose is to give new ideas about increasing worker power a chance to succeed and flourish, and new ideas about workers need a chance now perhaps more than ever before. Read more about why from our CEO, Adrian Haro.

About Steady
Launched in 2018, Steady puts tools into the hands of American workers to help them solve their increasing income challenges caused by wages not keeping up with costs of living, the reduction of available work hours at employers due to their driving efficiencies, and future job loss due to automation. Steady makes it easier than ever for workers to fill their income gaps, gain insights into their income, and improve their overall financial well-being. To date, the Steady app has been downloaded more than 2.3 million times.

Media Contact: Ariana Donaville[email protected]

SOURCE The Workers Lab

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Workers

Feds seek input into gig worker vulnerability

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OTTAWA—The latest Canadian Construction Association newsletter reports that the federal government through Employment and Social Development Canada is looking for input on potential updates to the Canada Labour Code to accommodate gig workers.

Labour Minister Filomena Tassi has issued a request for information, “citing COVID-19 as having exposed a number of vulnerabilities for gig workers and those that rely on them for essential services.”

The government is seeing input on the experiences of gig workers in federally regulated sectors including those who work through digital platforms such delivery or freelance work; and how federally regulated workers could benefit from a “right to disconnect” from their cellphones after they finish their workday.

The initial consultation period is open until April 30. Further consultation with employers, unions and other stakeholder organizations will follow in the third quarter of 2021.

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Welsh campaigners condemn gig-economy employers after report finds insecure workers are twice as likely to die from Covid-19

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WELSH campaigners condemned employers of insecure and gig-economy workers today after a report found that they were twice as likely to die from Covid-19.

The Morning Star reported today that TUC research had linked insecure work to a much higher risk of contracting and dying from Covid-19.

Welsh Labour’s Senedd candidate for Pontypridd Mick Antoniw called for the devolution of the Health and Safety Executive powers to Wales and pledged new powers.

He said: “The pandemic has exposed the consequence of 10 years of funding cuts of the Health and Safety Executive. There is now a real need to devolve health and safety responsibilities to the Welsh Parliament.”

Wales TUC general secretary Shavanah Taj said: “It is incredible that, over a year into the crisis, the UK government still fails to recognise both the practical and moral case for fixing our broken sick-pay system.

“No matter your race, gender, disability or background, everyone deserves fair pay and to be treated with dignity and respect.”

PCS union regional secretary Darren Williams said: “The research highlights the point that it is the same sort of bad employers who deny their staff job security who are also more willing to expose workers to unnecessary risk of Covid.

“We have many members who work in outsourced roles. These workers are often employed in agencies like the DVLA [Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency] in Swansea, where management decisions have contributed to 600 staff testing positive for Covid and one person tragically losing his life.” 

Unison Cymru lead for social care Mark Turner said: “Over 60 per cent of care in Wales is provided by the private sector. That’s why Unison is calling for a publicly delivered national care service in Wales.”

Mr Antoniw said that while employment is legally reserved to the Westminster government, the Welsh administration can promote socio-economic change and ethical employment standards through procurement policy.

“This is what underlies the draft Social Partnership Wales Bill, which is currently out for consultation,” he said.

“Putting the current partnership of government, trade unions and business on a statutory basis and using the leverage of public spending to drive ethical standards, worker representation and promote collective bargaining, it is an opportunity to use Welsh powers to drive change and bring working conditions for many into the 21st century.”

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UK gig workers: tell us your experiences during the pandemic | Gig economy

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In recent months, concerns around working conditions and precarious employment have been voiced by workers at several major companies including Uber, Hermes, Amazon and Deliveroo. They are among millions of gig workers in the UK who have continued to drive, deliver, clean and cook – among many other services – throughout the pandemic.

As part of The Guardian’s coverage, we would like to hear about gig workers’ experiences. You can tell us using the form below.

Share your experiences

You can get in touch by filling in the form below, anonymously if you wish or via WhatsApp by clicking here or adding the contact +44(0)7867825056. Your responses are secure as the form is encrypted and only the Guardian has access to your contributions.

One of our journalists will be in contact before we publish, so please do leave contact details.

If you’re having trouble using the form, click here. Read terms of service here.

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