Health care as a discussion point in the contractor vs. employee topic is relevant for only one country on the planet.
The important benefits of having a job as opposed to gigging can be summarized as "the employer should not have complete power over the employee". For Uber drivers this is exactly the case, that's why this type of work is socially poisonous.
I think what the OP was getting at is perhaps US centric, but basically Uber would be a lot better gig if you could be an Uber driver and have good health coverage (because it was a social service). At that point the argument would only be about fair wages, which is an easier case to make.
Contractors for low skill work is exclusively a means to avoid the overhead of having an employee and all the worker protections that entails. The "contractor" has no negotiating power, and no protections normally given to employees. For the Uber "contractors" it's the worst of both worlds while Uber get to have their cake and eat it too.
They want to terminate/not renew your contract because they didn't like you for some reason ? They can. With no extra fee to pay. So imagine if they find out you are part of a Union or participated in a Uber-strike. As a Uber driver, you have no negotiation power over them. You only power is to go see a competitor, which has the same problem and are not numerous anyway.
Then, there is also the fact that as a "personal" contractor, if you get sick, you are fucked. You car has a problem ? Deal with it with your own money. You have no minimum salary, no paid vacation, no sick day, no protection of any kind.
Whatever happen to you, Uber don't care, you are just one of their many contractor.
The status of employee brings a lot of protection that worker all over the world had to fight for. This type of unipersonnal contractor just bring us back to early 1900 worker status, and we should never accept that.
Haven't heard about it in a while, but this is a goal of the current CEO: http://fortune.com/2018/10/04/uber-driver-benefits-insurance...
That's also a big fat red herring.
The clients of a service are not employers of the contractor, and just because a contractor decides to invest some of his time to provide a service through ads posted on a job board that connects clients and service providers it does not mean that the job board suddenly becomes an employer.
Since when do job boards choose contractors for you? Since when job boards set the terms for the contractors? Since when they set prices for both you and contractors?
From the point of view of the customer, Uber looks like a taxi service, not a "taxi drivers phonebook in an app". It's done like this on purpose, but it should go both ways. You shouldn't get to pretend you're a company when it comes to benefits, but suddenly present yourself as network of "independent" contractors where it comes to drawbacks.
They're not a job board. They're an employer shirking their responsibilities to their employees.
But when PostNL wants to fire all their mail deliverers and rehire them as independent contractors, they can. When I asked why, it turned out the main difference was that they are replaceable and I'm not: if they're unable to deliver mail at a certain day, they can get a friend to do it for them. When I'm ill, I can't send someone else to do my job.
It's a stupid rule. It's the exact reason why I have power over my work situation and they don't, yet somehow it's the reason why their situation is allowed and I constantly need to prove myself (though I haven't had any trouble so far).
And maybe it should be hourly rate rather than yearly revenue, because a client might have no idea what a contractor's year looks like. You don't want clients to be forced into additional commitments until they've hired you for enough hours.
Finally, where I live at least, the "Scheinselbständigkeit" regulation would not necessarily apply to to Uber/Lyft even if it existed here: many of the ride-share cars I see around here have both Lyft and Uber signage and the drivers will switch their time between the companies. I don't know all the dynamics of why drivers do that, but I'm sure there are reasons for doing that.
Even in countries with single-payer healthcare, full-time employees may be eligible to a better healthcare deal via their employer than a temp worker, never mind a contractor.
In other gig/freelance scenarios the markets work themselves out, but often suffer from a globalized work force pushing rates way down. In the driver situation, the prices are local, so there is no excuse for the market not to work itself out unless the drivers are not excercising their freedoms or they have no other platform with better circumstances, to which they could find other types of work. It isn't that easy I know, but you have the choice to look and try.
The latter can indeed leave at any time and be fine. Perhaps take a sabbatical at the sea side.
The former will have their livelihood threatened if they make use of that flexibility, hence they have in reality no flexibility at all. They dance to the tune of Uber, Amazon and other bullies.
If Uber, or any other company invents a type of work which cannot be compensated according to those rules, then they do not have a viable business and will go bankrupt or be fined out of existence.
In practice, they've managed to find enough loopholes to survive, while making the lives of many of their employees miserable.
My point really isn't that these things are or aren't social goods, but that the limits to social good and what it can be used to justify are far too vague and far reaching, ending up with the line being drawn only by the person who happens to be in charge at the time. Social good is the justifying call of tyrants.
I advocate for individual rights and property rights for everyone, allowing them to be free from the state using force. That includes the business men making decisions over their companies which is their property and their employees who choose whether or not they want to sell their labour to them.
there's no difference. If your skillset is sought after, you get more money (by exercising your market demand).
The fact that there are many poorly paid people is not a problem of the companies paying them poorly, but of society not creating equal opportunities for those people (e.g., for education) to skill up.
I think everyone working fulltime should have a liveable wage.
A "liveable wage", whatever that is, isn't a workable solution for a lot of businesses, simply because the actual value of their work may be lower than the liveable wage. Now instead of getting some money for food to eat or a place to stay, they now get nothing because it just isn't viable to pay the liveable wage for the value they supply.
"simply because the actual value of their work may be lower than the liveable wage."
That is not a job then and the entity assigning such tasks is not a company. A company has a responsibility to offer its workers certain benefits in return for having access to the legal and social frames that are allowing it to operate.
You're assuming an unhealthy society, which unfortunately matches the US, but also many other so-called well-off countries: social protection diminished or outright removed combined with job uncertainty and social inequality.
Having one or two Ubers allows you merely to pretend longer that the situation's not dire. The political turn to the right in Europe right now and the election results in the US can be at least partly explained by the fact that people are sick of it.
What about the franchise owner? An article was posted here a few weeks back saying the average yearly take home pay of a 7-11 owner was less than $40K a year and he was working 60+ hours per week.
Then the next argument is usually if they can’t pay a livable wage and be profitable that they shouldn’t be in business. Which is really a great argument on a site where many people work for money losing tech companies who are only in business because of VC funding.
> Even if you are self-employed, you can also decide whether you wish to be insured via the statutory health insurance scheme or through a private fund.
More relevant: self-employed don't pay into social security. Thus unemployment money and retirement have to be paid differently.