DoorDash pilots benefit program for contract drivers

DoorDash driver
DoorDash is piloting a benefits program for independent contractors.

DoorDash is conducting a six-month test of an initiative that will cover some savings, medical and vacation benefits for independent contractors.

The on-demand delivery platform is piloting a first-of-its-kind initiative to establish a portable benefits savings program for "Dashers" (its term for contract employees that shop for and deliver customer orders) through a six-month test in Pennsylvania. Eligible expenses covered under this program will include retirement savings; health, dental, and vision insurance; and paid time off.

DoorDash is testing the concept of "portable benefits," which would allow independent contractors like Dashers to receive extra savings for benefits traditionally only available through employment, with support from companies for which they perform contract work.

The pilot, which will run from April through September 2024, provides eligible contract personnel in Pennsylvania with funds for the covered expenses. Partnering with portable benefits platform Stride, DoorDash will enable pilot participants to allocate their portable benefits savings to eligible categories of their choice and receive access to information about benefits offerings.

Specifics of this pilot program include:

  • Pennsylvania contract employees who earn at least $1,000 in the second quarter of the year (excluding tips) through the DoorDash platform will be eligible to open a Stride Save account and receive deposits into their portable benefits savings.
  • For the duration of the pilot, participants will receive deposits equal to 4% of their pre-tip earnings.
  • Participants will be able to contribute personal funds as well, and the account and all funds will remain portable with them.

"We believe that everyone deserves access, choice, and security when it comes to how they want to work," said Tony Xu, DoorDash CEO and co-founder. "We’re proud that dashing has helped millions of people achieve greater financial security, but we know that outdated rules have meant there are trade-offs for those who dash more consistently and may be missing out on important benefits. Instead of settling for the way it has always been done, we can continue to try new things and expand the safety net in ways that provide both flexibility and security."

In other efforts to provide extra incentives to contractors, in March 2023, DoorDash rolled out new financial rewards for drivers. The company expanded its partnership with digital banking start-up Payfare Inc. to integrate promotions from commerce platform Upside directly into the DasherDirect driver app, which Payfare provides for DoorDash.

As a result, holders of the DasherDirect card, a prepaid debit/rewards card specifically designed for DoorDash drivers (known as "Dashers" in company parlance), can utilize Upside promotions at 50,000 gas and food retailers nationwide.

Founded in 2013, DoorDash offers deliveries in more than 25 countries.

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