From Sharing to Caring

Over the last 2 years Cat in a Flat has socialised and breathed some life into the well established Pet Caring Industry (worth £6 billion/year in the UK). With it’s new online platform, connecting cat owners with cat-loving sitters, it quickly became the UK’s biggest Cat Sitting Community and was characterised as part of the sharing / gig economy movement.

But are we really a sharing or gig economy?

Recently, the gig economy has been criticised of exploiting their own ‘self-employed’ community — if you can’t set your own fees or negotiate your terms of service, then what ‘self-employed’ rights do you have?

In an article from the Guardian, service providers of the gig or sharing economy are accused of pressuring their members to take any job and for a set fee. i.e. they are not in control of what they accept.

 

Farrar told how he was put under “tremendous pressure” to work long hours and accept jobs and said that there were “repercussions” from the company if he cancelled a pickup. He said some months he earned as little as £5 an hour — far below the £7.20 that employers are obliged to pay workers aged over 25.

 

Service providers also are not allowed to negotiate directly with customers

 

“Drivers do not and cannot negotiate with passengers … They are offered and accept trips strictly on Uber’s terms.”

 

How is Cat in a Flat different?

We pride ourselves with a very happy community, our sitters are given the flexibility to set their own rates and availability, and we provide them with the security of insurance and a free service platform to process bookings and payments.

With a 99.5% five star ratings, we can tell that the cat sitters love what they do and the cat owners really appreciate the kitty cuddling service they provide.

 

01 Unlike others, our model, does not require any capital or equipment investment and it does not require full time dedication. Our primary currencies are trust and attention when time allows.

02 All our community consists of mainly part time cat sitters. Most have a full-time or part-time job elsewhere and only offer their service in their spare time to satisfy their needs for cat cuddles.

03 Although some sitters would love to work for free ( we have a hard time telling them to charge the minimum), most sitters take the additional earning as a welcoming supplementary income, not as their main income.

04 We give our sitters a guide on starting prices with £ 8/visit of 30 min. This price is not set and they can change it to what suits them best.

05 Sitters are encouraged to agree and negotiate face to face, and the platform puts them in control of their pricing and hours.

06 Sitters and owners agree on the time of the service provided. This is very important so the service can fit around a normal work day and not disrupt existing employment.

 

So, what we can say with certainty is that we are part of the new movement of Caring Economy =^.^=

 

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