DoorDash Driver Reveals the Truth About Childcare and Gig Work
- DoorDash delivery driver, with her infant twins inside, had her car stolen.
- DoorDash allows children and teens to ride in the car while deliveries take place.
- Because childcare costs can be prohibitive, gig workers often bring their kids to work.
DoorDash delivery worker had her car stolen with her twin babies inside earlier this week in Ohio. The children were eventually found, but the frightening incident highlighted a reality for many gig workers — their kids come with them on deliveries.
Parents might find the flexibility of delivery work at companies like DoorDash or Uber Eats or Instacart attractive. However, the unpredictable income from gig work can make it difficult to pay for childcare while you are out delivering.
Insider has learned that “most independent workers who do this work are at or near the bottom end of the wage spectrum,” Lindsey Cameron, a Wharton business school professor of management who studies the gig industry, told Insider. She said that gig workers often bring their children to work as childcare costs are prohibitive.
DoorDash says drivers earn about $25 an hour. The rate can fluctuate depending upon demand and does not include gas, wear or damage to drivers’ cars. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics however, the average childcare worker earns $13 an hr.
Delivery drivers often bring their children with them to deliveries. DoorDash allows this.
Reddit forums are full of discussions about the practice. Most drivers share positive or negative experiences while delivering their children. Drivers often comment on the quality of their time with their children and how much they enjoy teaching them about work. Others point out that the hourly rate they pay for childcare would not cover their costs.
Insider was told by a spokesperson for DoorDash that “some working parents choose to dash together with their children because it’s a flexible, convenient and easy way to earn supplemental income.” DoorDash allows minors to ride on delivery rides. However, the company’s insurance does not cover deliveries. A spokesperson said that Dasher accounts are required in order to pick up an order from a merchant or deliver an order to a customer. This means that children cannot pick up or drop off orders.
According to their community guidelines, Uber prohibits drivers from bringing other passengers along while they transport customers or make deliveries for Uber Eats. Instacart spokesperson stated that “Shoppers cannot bring anyone (including minors) along while they’re transporting customers or making deliveries for Uber Eats.” Instacart stated that it offers customers discounted backup care through Care.com.
Unless the unthinkable happens, the practice of bringing a child to a delivery is rarely covered.
Last year, a DoorDash delivery driver in Georgia had her car stolen with her 1-year-old daughter inside. The baby was found on the front porch of a nearby house. In San Francisco, a DoorDash driver’s car was also stolen with his children inside last year. His children were found safe, but the delivery worker, Jeffrey Fang, was criticized for having his kids in the car.
“I will accept the fact that I had children with me. It’s a risk. But I won’t do it out of desperation. It is more of lack of choice — some might say desperation — and in some ways, it was,” Fang, CNN Business, at the time.
Cameron stated that incidents such as these demonstrate how the gig economy has created a new class workers in precarious circumstances.
She said that there are ways to reduce the risk to delivery drivers and their children if they have to bring them along. She mentioned that these companies offer drivers more. control over deliveries they acceptThey could allow drivers to only accept orders from customers who come to the car to pick them up. She said that a small step like this would be much easier than overhauling America’s expensive childcare system.
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