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Ola, Uber & 3 other digital platforms score nil in rating of fair work conditions for gig workers: Report

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Five digital platforms — cab aggregators Ola and Uber, grocery delivery app Dunzo, pharmacy platform PharmEasy and Amazon Flex — have the lowest scores in a rating of digital platforms on the basis of providing fair working conditions for gig workers.

The rating of 12 digital platforms was done by a Fairwork India team in association with the Oxford University.

Fairwork evaluates the work conditions of digital labour platforms internationally.

Fairwork India Ratings 2022 Report, which assessed platforms against five principles: Fair Pay, Fair Conditions, Fair Contracts, Fair Management, and Fair Representation, found that Amazon Flex, Dunzo, Ola, PharmEasy and Uber scored zero out of 10 points.

“This year, no platform scored more than seven out of the maximum of ten points, and none scored all the first points across the five principles,” the report said.

The Fairwork India Ratings 2022 evaluated 12 platforms, including Amazon Flex, bigbasket, Dunzo, Flipkart, Ola, PharmEasy, Porter, Swiggy, Uber, Urban Company, Zepto and Zomato.

Each of the five principles is broken down into two points: a first point and a second point that can only be awarded if the first point has been fulfilled. Every platform receives a score out of 10.

Urban Company scored the most, seven out of 10, followed by bigbasket (6/10), Flipkart (5/10), Swiggy (5/10), Zomato (4/10), Zepto (2/10), and Porter (1/10).

“In the eyes of the law, gig workers are independent contractors, which means they are not entitled to labour rights in a manner that unorganized workers or employees are.

“A starting point to improve their working condition would be to ensure that they receive at least the hourly minimum wage, after considering work-related costs, and ensuring that the demands they make through collective action are heard, acknowledged and considered by the platforms,” Professor Balaji Parthasarathy, the Principal Investigator of the team told PTI.

The Fairwork India Team was spearheaded by the Centre for IT and Public Policy (CITAPP), International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B), in association with Oxford University.

This report examines the work conditions of platform workers on digital labour platforms in India. It evaluates 12 platforms offering location-based services in sectors such as domestic and personal care, logistics, food delivery, e-pharmacy, and transportation, in India.

“Even with workers and worker groups repeatedly emphasising the importance of a stable income for platform workers, platforms have been reluctant to publicly commit to, and operationalise, a minimum-wage policy,” the report said.

This year, bigbasket, Flipkart, and Urban Company implemented and operationalised policies to ensure that all workers on these platforms earn at least the hourly local minimum wage after factoring in work-related costs, it added.


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