Last week we gave you a seven-step action plan for how gig economy companies can respond to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. A lot has changed in a week, so now it’s time to take a look around the industry to see how gig economy companies are actually responding to the crisis. You may consider adopting some of these same measures for your own company.
- Food delivery platforms Postmates and Instacart announcedthat they have introduced “non-contact deliveries.” Customers now have the choice to select their preferred drop-off option when checking out, whether that means meeting their delivery person at a curbside spot, or even having the order left outside the door.
- Postmates is also waiving commission fees for San Francisco restaurants not already working with the company so it can offer on-demand delivery without extra costs. If the pilot program is successful, it may expanded elsewhere.
- DoorDash is also letting customers leave instructions when they place an order if they prefer their food orders left outside their door.
- Uber and Lyft now offer drivers and delivery people 14 days of paid sick leave if they fall ill with coronavirusor are placed in quarantine.
- Instacart will cover up to 14 days of pay for its contractors and part-time employees diagnosed with COVID-19 or placed in mandatory quarantine. It also introduced sick pay coverage part-time employees.
- Postmates will pay for doctors’ visits and medical expenses related to any COVID-19 infection in their contractor pool.
- DoorDash set up a task force to develop support for its contractors, which includes two weeks of assistance to those with the virus or put under quarantine.
- Amazon Flex said it will assist drivers impacted by the outbreak on an “individual, case-by-case basis.”
- Finally, the biggest gig economy companies in the country – Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart – are in talks to set up a fund to compensate drivers affected by the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. They are considering various ways to pay U.S.-based workers who have been infected or quarantined by the virus. Meanwhile, Senator Mark Warner (D-Va.) sent letters to the CEOs of those five companies urging them to set up such a pooled health fund that would help cover testing or treatment. “As the United States mobilizes to respond to the recent outbreak and spread of COVID-19,” he said, “I write to urge you to publicly commit to prioritizing your workers’ economic security and the broader public health during this response.”