Speaking entirely for myself here (want to be clear I’m not speaking for anyone else who signed the letter), I suspect that any effective regulatory regime would make your 4hr/wk scenario very unlikely. (Indeed, after talking with more than a dozen Uber drivers, I don’t think I’ve met anyone who drives less than 15 hrs/wk.) If you’re going to expect drivers to have a commercial license and carry proper insurance (as they do in Edmonton), that 4hr/wk scenario probably isn’t too attractive for a driver.

That said, I think we want a system where *some* level of part-time driving (let’s say, 20hrs/wk) is economically viable — oe benefit of this kind of service is in offering flexible, part-time employment. But that’s the key: it’s still employment. With rulings like the California Labor Commission finding that an Uber driver was an employee, I suspect we’re moving towards a scenario in which the Ubers of the world are governed by employment law.

And employment law already provides for part-time workers, albeit in different ways depending on the jurisdiction. To avoid some of the worst problems that have plagued traditional part-time workers (like capping hours so that employees don’t work enough to quality for benefits), I’d love to see a system in which benefits are pro-rated based on hours.

Author, Remote Inc: How To Thrive at Work…Wherever You Are. Tech speaker. Writer & data journalist for Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review & more.

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