Benefits for on-demand workers

Benefits for on-demand workers Human cloud, grocery delivery platform Instacart announced new benefits for its independent contractor shoppers in a post on Medium.

The perks include its “Stride Benefits Platform” for access to health insurance and financial tools, injury protection insurance to protect the shoppers in the case of an accident (it will include coverage for up to $1 million in medical expenses), free access to for shoppers to help find caregivers for their families, and a student loan assistance program that provides advice on paying down student loans.

“This is one step in a longer journey to creating new programs and offerings that support shoppers,” according to the post.

Human cloud tipping controversy

Human cloud platform firm DoorDash announced a new tip model in a post by co-founder and CEO Tony Xu on Medium. The move comes after a backlash over how the company handled tips, and a month after Xu promised a revised policy in a series of tweets.

Under the new model, base pay for its delivery contractors will increase and range from $2 to $10 per delivery, with longer, less-popular deliveries receiving a higher base pay. In addition, customers’ tips will go to delivery contractors and the amount DoorDash pays in base pay and promotions will not vary by tip. Customers will also be able to pay tips either at time of checkout or after the delivery.

“Under our new model, Dashers will earn more money on average — both from DoorDash and overall,” Xu wrote. CNN reported that some are skeptical of the model, saying there is a lack of transparency in the process.

Google Jobs and competition

Google’s job-search tool is the subject of a letter from 23 job websites in Europe to European Union Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager in August claiming anticompetitive behavior, according to a report from Reuters.

The letter called on Vestager to issue a temporary restraining order against Google requiring it to stop playing unfairly while she investigates the company, according to the news outlet.

Danish jobs website Jobindex reported that websites taking part in the letter included Bornholm and StepStone. Jobindex also reported on August 16 that a spokesperson for the European Union confirmed it had received the letter and will assess it.

“Google Jobs has been a great success, but the 23 jobsites think Google is abusing its dominant position in Internet search to enter the job advertisement market, and now call Margrethe Vestager to take action against Google for Jobs,” according to Jobindex.

Staffing Industry Analysts estimates the global online job advertising market had revenue of $22 billion in 2018.

Staffing and blockchain

Kelly Services Inc. announced a strategic partnership with Moonlighting, an on-demand hiring platform that uses blockchain technology.

In its announcement, the company said Moonlighting planned to launch a blockchain profile-management system. That system would be designed to let job seekers create trusted profiles and transport them to other freelance and gig marketplaces. Kelly wasn’t the only large staffing firm with an interest in blockchain.

Global staffing firm Recruit Co. Ltd., which also owns Indeed and Glassdoor, announced several technology investments, including in Blockstack, a New York-based company that provides a distributed computing platform using blockchain technology.

“Blockstack offers user-specific storage and multi-purpose authentication systems for users to securely manage highly confidential information such as their personal information, which allows them to have direct ownership and control over that data,” according to Recruit. It says the system is more secure than conventional passwordbased authentication.

The announcement followed other technology investments by Recruit that included an investment in Starship Technologies Inc., a San Francisco-based company that provides autonomous delivery robots.