New Injury Protections To Be Paired with Expanded Healthcare & Career Development Resources
Postmates announced it will be unveiling an occupational accident insurance benefit this Fall to all members of its Fleet in an effort to provide coverage for medical expenses, disability, and other costs resulting from a covered injury on an active delivery. Continuing its history of investing in the long-term upward mobility of its national fleet of 350,000 gig workers, Postmates also announced access to platforms providing expanded health & wellness coverage and catalogues of online & offline courses through which the Fleet can obtain certificates on topics ranging from cybersecurity & data science to language skills & coding.
All resources for the fleet will now be hosted and accessed through a newly created Postmates Flexible Toolkit, a one-stop portal connecting gig workers to resources and partnerships that help them invest in their long-term economic certainty on or off the platform.
Having pioneered the first formal vehicle for meaningful worker-input in on-demand delivery through the launch of a Fleet Advisory Board, Postmates has also cultivated feedback from thousands of gig workers across the country through a blend of in-person summits and surveys to understand what benefits workers most value right now. We’ve learned that:
- 93% of Postmates couriers work 3-5 hours a week on the platform, supplementing their earnings for extra cash or to help pay their bills. But 60% of workers seek full-time opportunities outside the gig economy, so access to programs to assist with career advancement are important to our fleet.
- Only 20% have accredited college or community college degrees.
- 65% of workers already claim healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act, while seeking relief on disability insurance claims & sky-rocketing prescription prices.
- 50% cannot afford an unexpected medical expense or emergency bill and could benefit from access to a health savings plan.
Parallel with Postmates’ call for legislative reforms to build a new safety net for gig workers, today’s announcements helps establish a new class of worker protections across pillars of financial certainty, career mobility, and health & wellness.
- Financial Security: In partnership with One Beacon, starting October 1, 2019, every member of the Postmates fleet will be provided occupational accident insurance with up to $1M of coverage for medical expenses incurred from a covered injury sustained on active delivery. The insurance also covers temporary and total disability payments, as well as death & survivor benefits stemming from an occupational accident.
- Career Mobility: In partnership with JVS, Postmates is expanding access to free in-person job search accelerator programs in San Francisco and Los Angeles via JVS SoCal. The programs offer individualized job search services to help members of our Fleet develop skills (across marketing, design, CRM and other focus areas) that aid placement in full-time employment opportunities. In Q4 of 2019, Postmates will expand this programming to regional job-placement organizations in Chicago, Miami, and New York markets. Separately, in partnership with e-learning platform edX.org, Postmates is unveiling free online access to 7 courses on in-demand subject areas such as SQL & project management certifications to language & cybersecurity training.
- Health & Wellness: In partnership with Stride Health, Postmates is expanding access to: board-certified physicians; new disability & life insurance plans; discounted access to prescription medicines. The expansion builds on existing with Stride health which has enrolled thousands of Postmates in Obamacare coverage & helps manage tax & IRS filings for workers in the gig-economy. In November of 2018, Postmates was also the first in the on-demand delivery sector to offer Postmates a free health savings account (HSA), through Starship, to save on medical expenses.
“These new benefits are just the beginning,” said Postmates co-founder & CEO, Bastian Lehmann. “But we won’t be satisfied until all Postmates — and all gig workers across the sector — have the protections and opportunities they deserve. We’re going to keep working with our fleet members, other companies, labor unions, and policymakers to make that bigger, bolder deal for gig workers a reality. This journey starts now.”
In the last year, while legislative bodies across the country debate the future of the gig economy, Postmates has lead the on-demand sector in pioneering new worker benefits models to test how best to balance worker benefits with worker flexibility.
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The future of work looks different than it did a decade ago, but in a world where data is king, Postmates considers worker input the most important data of all. Which is why the creation of a Fleet Advisory Board has been imperative to elevate gig voices within Postmates headquarters, and has lead to:
- The creation of career pathway opportunities in response to learning many Postmates were earning on the platform as a short term stop-gap;
- Apprenticeship programs where individuals can earn & learn through US Department of Labor apprenticeship models;
- Deployment of savings tools – and faster disbursements of earnings, as an alternative to bi-weekly paychecks;
- Bringing on-line trust & safety resources in partnership with experts such as the National Center for Victims of Crime to guide the welfare of Postmates as they make deliveries in communities;
- Direct guidance on pay standards and new policy frameworks being proposed to lawmakers.
“In the modern gig-economy where workers exercise unprecedented autonomy to decide if, when, for how long, and for whom they work, it is incumbent on tech, labor, workers’ rights groups & government to forge a new social compact that provides flexible app workers with appropriate work injury protections, healthcare, and civil rights,” said Vikrum Aiyer, Vice President of Public Policy & Strategic Communications at Postmates. “While states like California must swiftly move to enact policies that are both pro-worker & pro-innovation, there are steps we as an industry can and must take to elevate the standards of the gig economy.”
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