Urban Company best for gig workers; Ola, Uber score zero
With the emergence of the digital platform economy in India, gig workers have grown in demand. However, it seems that these workers are yet to enjoy fair pay and good work conditions. According to the Fairwork India Ratings 2022, some of the biggest companies, including Ola, Uber, and Dunzo scored zero in their treatment of gig workers. Urban Company came out at the top.
Why does this story matter?
- Gig workers are an important part of our daily lives. From ordering groceries to going somewhere, we depend on them.
- However, their growing importance has not translated into better pay or improved working conditions. On top of that, they are ridiculed by those for whom they provide services.
- The report asks all stakeholders to ruminate on their treatment of gig workers.
The report rated 12 digital platform companies in India
The report titled Fairwork India 2022: Labor Standards in the Platform Economy looked at 12 Indian platforms - Amazon Flex, Bigbasket, Dunzo, Flipkart, Ola, PharmEasy, Porter, Swiggy, Uber, Urban Company, Zepto, and Zomato. The companies received a score out of 10 based on five principles namely, fair pay, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management, and fair representation.
The study was conducted by CITAAP, IIIT-B, and Oxford University
The study was spearheaded by the Centre for IT and Public Policy (CITAAP) and the International Institution of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B), in association with Oxford University. To rate the 12 platforms, each of the five principles was divided into two points. The second point was only awarded if the platform received the first point under a certain principle.
Urban Company grabbed first position with seven points
Per the report, Urban Company scored the most with seven points. Bigbasket came second with six points, while Flipkart and Swiggy scored five each. Zomato rounded out the top 5. The first five were the same in 2021 as well. Amazon Flex, Dunzo, Ola, PharmEasy, and Uber were the bottom dwellers with a score of zero out of 10.
Only Bigbasket, Flipkart, and Urban Company ensure minimum wage
The study found that Bigbasket, Flipkart, and Urban Company implemented policies to ensure that workers received at least the local minimum wage after factoring in work-related expenses. The three along with Zomato and Swiggy received one point for 'fair conditions' for simplifying their insurance claims procedure. However, only Bigbasket, Swiggy, and Urban Company have a "loss of pay policy" during medical illness.
None of the platforms received points for fair representation
Seven out of the 12 platforms gained a point for 'fair contracts,' as their contracts are easily accessible and workers are informed of changes ahead of time. Bigbasket, Flipkart, Swiggy, Urban Company, and Zomato have grievance redressal mechanisms with an option to connect with a human representative. Unsurprisingly, none of the platforms recognize any collective body of workers.