National App-Based Work Alliance Will Advocate for Solutions That Preserve Worker Independence and Access to Benefits
Written by: Kristen Cormier
As a working mom, I’ve always valued the idea of flexibility and the ability to earn income to provide for my family. That hasn’t always been possible for me, however, until last year presented an unexpected opportunity.
Last year, I was laid off from my full-time job due to COVID-19, and I didn’t know what to do. How could I continue to provide for my family, while also looking after my own health and taking care of my son?
That was when I started working for an app-based platform where I could earn money to run errands for people in my community. When I looked into it, I was immediately drawn to the flexibility it offered.
There are no set schedules and no set hours. If I want to work all day and earn a lot, I can. If I need to take my son to football practice, or bring dinner to my mother, I can stop any time and take care of them. I’ve never felt so in control of my own work schedule and my own earnings than when I started working independently.
Today, I split my time between a job in hospitality and working independently, and I’ve never felt more empowered to make income on my own terms. I don’t have to choose between making a living and being there for my son.
I’m not alone. Over 57 million people (and counting) choose to work independently because they want to be in the drivers’ seat of their life.
There’s only one problem with independent work, and that’s how workers get benefits. I’m thankful that I get benefits from my other job, but a lot of other app-based workers I’ve met aren’t so fortunate. App-based workers often work for multiple platforms or change platforms frequently, and because benefits are mostly tied to full-time employment at a single company or organization, that means a lot of workers may not have a way to access benefits if they need them.
As a mother, I need the peace of mind that benefits provide – for medical emergencies, routine dental or vision exams, or the knowledge that one day I can retire comfortably. Independent workers shouldn’t have to give up the flexibility they love just to have stability for themselves and their families.
I never expected that losing my job would launch my new passion, and I’m incredibly grateful that I now have a flexible way to provide for my family. It is my strong hope that this year, the many working moms who share my passion and value flexibility can have access to the critical benefits that everyone deserves.
- KRISTEN CORMIER, Round Rock TX