The online marketplace confirmed today (Sept. 14) that it will launch a “peer-to-peer benefits platform” to help provide limited benefits to the caregivers that use its marketplace to connect with families in need of their services.
Care.com, a platform that connects families and caregivers, relies on millions of care workers to help fuel its business in the on-demand gig economy.
But as Brent Warrington, CEO of Hyperwallet, recently pointed out in this week’s episode of The Matchmaker Is In series, providing a healthy ecosystem for 1099 workers can be a huge challenge.
Care.com enabling families to contribute to the cost of benefits for their employees, much like traditional corporate employers do, shows a shift in the efforts to provide more value to independent contractors.
“A strong care workforce is critical to our economy and the wellbeing of families, yet we lack a scalable solution to provide benefits for these workers who support us all. Today is an important milestone for us to better serve the millions of caregivers in our marketplace and to enable the families they serve to provide them support,” Care.com CEO Sheila Lirio Marcelo explained in a press release.
With the new peer-to-peer benefits platform in place, a percentage of the transaction between a family and a caregiver will be added onto the payment in order to fund the benefits program.
The benefits platform will consist of pooled, portable contributions that a caregiver can continue to use even as they change jobs and work for multiple families via the Care.com marketplace. Those funds are then accessible to the caregiver for use on a variety of key expenses including medical and dental insurance, doctor co-pays, transportation and education..
“Caregivers constitute one of the largest segments of the gig economy and the fastest-growing large job category in our country. Caregivers frequently work for multiple families and almost always work without access to professional benefits. The Care.com Benefits platform not only provides that access but now makes these benefits more affordable through the help of employer contributions to the program. Pooled, portable, peer-to-peer benefits represent a new model for household employment and an innovative step forward in professionalizing caregivers,” Marcelo continued.