Online care platforms are increasing in popularity in Australia. But care workers may not be aware of the financial pros and cons of providing care via an online platform. So, if you’re choosing between gaining employment through a home care provider or becoming a self-employed carer working through an online platform, consider this.
Benefits and Entitlements
Did you know that you have to be self-employed to work as a care worker via an app or online platform? Working as a self-employed carer can mean a great deal of flexibility and independence. But it can also have its downsides. For instance, no sick leave or annual leave entitlements, so any time off—planned or unplanned, goes unpaid. Or, having to pay your own superannuation, and organise your own insurances. Alongside the extra responsibility of being self-employed, you also won’t have access to valuable staff support programs offered by some home care providers.
As a self-employed person working through an online platform, you are responsible for managing incoming payments. Whilst the hourly rate may appeal to you, there is always the risk of late or missed payments—as most self-employed people in any industry have experienced. But you’re working through an online platform… they’ll protect you financially, right? Well, not always. Many platforms agree to chase up missed or late payments. But their terms and conditions usually void them of any responsibility. So, ultimately, you have to rely on your clients to pay you on time, if at all.
It’s only right that a person in need of care should be matched with the best carer for them and their situation. So, usually, home care providers conduct interviews with care recipients to organise the best worker for them. Similarly, online platforms suggest a ‘meet-up’ between care workers and those who need care. However, it may be unfair to expect a person in need of care to pay for an initial meeting. Especially if they decide to go with another carer. So, what does that mean for you as a care worker? Essentially, this structure opens up the possibility for many hours of unpaid work. And if you’re unsuccessful in securing a job, the time spent at the ‘meet-up’ may go to waste.
Finding work through online care platforms may be great for some, but not others. So, if you’re a care worker looking for employment, make sure to carefully consider each option.