Alia, the first portable benefits platform - for house cleaners - launches to pave the way for benefits for every worker

(NEW YORK, NY, Dec 11, 2018) – Alia, the first portable benefits platform, for house cleaners, launched today, giving house cleaners access to benefits such as Paid Time Off (including sick days), accident insurance, critical illness insurance, disability insurance and life insurance.

Alia is the first - and only - portable benefits platform that provides access to benefits that are:

  • Multi-contributor: multiple clients or employers can contribute to the benefits for a single worker

  • Prorated: clients or employers can contribute according to how much, or how little, service they receive (starting at $5/month)

  • Portable: benefits are attached to the worker, not the client or employer

  • Full-service: Alia aggregates and processes benefits contributions from clients and employers, so that workers don’t have to.

Alia is designed for house cleaners, who are some of the most difficult workers to provide access to benefits to: house cleaners typically work for multiple clients, some more than others, and are usually low-wage workers. Most independent house cleaners have never had access to benefits, such as a paid sick day.

How it works:

  • Clients (or employers) of house cleaners create an Alia account, and search on Alia for the person who cleans their home; if the cleaner is not already using Alia, they can be invited through the Alia website.

  • When the cleaner’s account is matched with the client’s, the client creates a recurring monthly contribution for their benefits. We suggest $5 per cleaning, ie $20/month if your home is cleaned every week.

  • Benefits are chosen by house cleaners, and Paid Time Off is managed by Alia and distributed in the form of a prepaid VISA Incentive card.

“Before Alia, I used to worry about getting sick, because I would lose wages and as a result I sometimes couldn’t pay my bills”, said Mercedes Martinez, who has been cleaning homes for a living in New York for more than 20 years. “When my client told me she wanted to contribute to my benefits, I was surprised because I’ve never had benefits before! This year Thanksgiving was a paid holiday for me for the first time in 20 years, and I feel more valued by my clients”

“There was no hesitation to contribute to benefits for the person who cleans my home” said Gretchen Hildebran, who lives in New York. “Benefits are an important part of my compensation when I take a job, and it makes no sense to me that a worker shouldn’t have access to them simply because she has multiple jobs. I believe paid sick days are a fundamental right that every worker should have, and I’m glad to be part of ensuring that the person who clean my home is at home when she is sick, rather than at work.”

Alia is the flagship social innovations product of NDWA Labs, the innovation arm of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA). NDWA Labs has been developing Alia for two years, and received funding for Alia from Google.org’s Economic Opportunity portfolio in 2017. Alia has been in beta since March 2018, and 75% of cleaners with multiple clients took Paid Time Off during the beta.

“As work is changing, more and more workers are finding themselves faced with the work conditions that domestic workers have faced for decades. “said Palak Shah, Founding Director of NDWA Labs. “All work deserves benefits, regardless of the type of work you do, or whether you find it through a neighborhood referral or an online platform. We know that if we can solve access to benefits for domestic workers, we can solve it for all workers.”

Contributions made by new Alia accounts will be matched through the end of the year.

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About Alia

Alia is the first portable benefits platform, for house cleaners, that enables multi-contributor, prorated, portable benefits. Alia was created within NDWA Labs, the innovation arm of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and is headquartered in New York.

About NDWA Labs

NDWA Labs is the innovation arm of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), and experiments with new strategies to improve work for domestic workers. NDWA Labs was launched in 2015 in response to the convergence of Silicon Valley, the gig economy, and domestic work. NDWA Labs focuses on three areas of work: building digital products for workers, private sector collaboration and policy and shaping the future of work. NDWA Labs was founded by Palak Shah, Social Innovations Director of NDWA.

Press Contact:

Fiona Ramsey, NDWA Labs: (415) 378-0319, press@ndwalabs.org