Cleaner banned and fined £25 for being ill

From BBC - November 14, 2017

When Polly Mackenzie heard her cleaner was ill and unable to work her normal day, she was hoping to reschedule through the Handy site that supplied her.

But that was not how the system worked.

The story took a further turn the next day:

Ms Mackenzie, from south London, was sent what she described to the BBC as "a grovelling email - as if they'd killed my firstborn", then found her account had been credited with 5 to compensate for the inconvenience.

She said that meant Handy had "profited 20 from her illness, about twice as much as they'd make if she turned up".

The cleaner has since been made available to Ms Mackenzie once more, but the incident has ignited a strident debate on social media about the use of app-based services and the gig economy.

In the gig economy, instead of a regular wage, workers get paid for each job, such as a food delivery or a car journey. One of the best-known examples is driving for Uber.

Proponents of the gig economy claim that people can benefit from flexible hours, with control over how much time they can work as they juggle other commitments. Those against say its simply another form of employment - without rights or in-work benefits.

Work but no pay


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