National App-Based Work Alliance Will Advocate for Solutions That Preserve Worker Independence and Access to Benefits
Written By: Tania H.
It has been a full year since I started shopping with Instacart, and it has been a year that’s changed my life for the better. I love the work I’m doing, and I get to do it whenever it fits my already busy schedule working multiple jobs and spending time with my family.
I operate my own detailing business, but I’ve also worked several jobs to help earn extra income on the side. I currently work evenings at a fast-food restaurant, and I also used to work in retail for a long time before I realized I just wasn’t quite getting what I wanted or needed out of it.
Once I looked into shopping with Instacart and gave it a shot, I never looked back. I immediately loved what I was doing, and was even able to leave my retail job once I realized I was earning more by shopping. I also scaled back the number of hours I was working in my evening fast-food job to allow me more time to make deliveries. Now, Instacart is my main source of income and I log on whenever I get the chance.
One of the biggest benefits of making the switch to Instacart is the flexibility it gives me. Setting my own schedule and being my own boss means I have more time to spend with my family. If my kids have sports or extracurricular activities after school, for example, I know I can be there cheering them on.
I also love shopping because it makes me feel like I’m making a real difference in my community. As an Army veteran, I’ve always placed a big emphasis on serving others. Delivering groceries in my community is a great opportunity to help those who may not have the time or may not be able to go out right now. Whether it’s to seniors, busy parents, or those who may have health issues and can’t shop for themselves during the pandemic, knowing that I’m making a positive impact means a lot. This work also allows me to connect with other people in my community. It’s always nice when I see previous customers pop up on the app and they remember me right away.
While I love shopping with Instacart, I’d love the option to access benefits while maintaining the independence and flexibility that I value so much. Unfortunately, some solutions that lawmakers are considering, like the PRO Act, could remove that flexibility by forcing people who work with app companies to work rigid schedules, eliminating a lot of what makes this work so appealing.
One idea that would really help is a portable benefits system, which is designed to ensure I’m able to get the benefits I need without tying me into a set schedule that would interfere with my business and my family life.
Shopping with Instacart has made me feel like I’m genuinely helping out my community, and I love the work I’m doing. Better yet, I’m able to be there for my family when I need to be. It is something I would absolutely recommend to others, and I know that providing app-based workers with access to the benefits they need would make that possible for so many more people.
Tania H. is a veteran and small-business owner from Texas.