The UK-based FairWork Foundation, backed by the Oxford Internet Institute, which released its third India report on labor standards in the Indian ‘platform’ economy on Wednesday, placed Flipkart in the top spot , against second place last year. Fairwork focuses on five principles of fair labor: fair compensation, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management and fair representation. This study evaluates and assigns a base point and an advanced point to a platform for each principle. Thus, a platform can earn a maximum of ten points.
The Fairwork India Ratings 2021 rates 11 platforms, including Amazon, BigBasket, Dunzo, Flipkart, Ola, PharmEasy, Porter, Swiggy, Uber, Urban Company and Zomato. However, this year, no platform has scored more than seven points out of a ten-point maximum, and none has scored all the basis points for all five principles.
Fair salary: This year, BigBasket, Flipkart and Urban Company pledged to ensure that all workers together on their platforms earn at least the local minimum hourly wage after factoring in their work-related costs.
While not all platforms experienced a decline in demand for their services, net worker incomes declined across all platforms studied, in part due to increased labor costs ( such as fuel costs and platform commissions). This decline is also consistent with the long-term decline in workers’ incomes due to lower fee schedules and incentives.
Fair conditions: Site workers are confronted with several risks during their work. On the list of risks that workers face on a regular basis, including traffic accidents, theft, violence and inclement weather conditions, was the risk of COVID-19 infection in 2020-2021. While several platforms have introduced COVID-19 security measures, as well as improvements to their insurance policies for their platform employees, only Flipkart and Urban Company have obtained the basic and advanced points under the principle of fair conditions. In addition to offering COVID-19-specific income protection to their workers this year, the two platforms also pledged to compensate for lost income that would extend to situations beyond COVID-19.
Fair contracts: The basis point under the fair contract was awarded to platforms that met two thresholds. Firstly, they had to provide accessible, readable and understandable agreements and, secondly, they had to have a process to inform workers before any change in their contractual conditions. Only BigBasket, Flipkart, Swiggy and Zomato achieved this point due to their measures to improve understanding, including the provision of multilingual agreements, and a commitment to a process / policy to inform workers of changes in their terms. commitment within a specified timeframe. time before its execution. Of the 11 platforms, three (Flipkart, Swiggy and Zomato) have incorporated symmetrical limited liability clauses into employment agreements. Swiggy and Zomato gave workers some autonomy in choosing the arbitrator or the jurisdiction of the tribunal.
Fair management: The platforms performed relatively well under the fair management principle, with BigBasket, Dunzo, Flipkart, PharmEasy, Swiggy, Urban Company, and Zomato all getting the baseline because they had grievance policies ( including sexual harassment prevention policies), and either functional communication channels (WhatsApp groups or chat options with the ability to reach a human representative) or detailed action plans to improve their redress systems. BigBasket, Flipkart, Swiggy and Urban Company also marked the advanced stage as they have now adopted policies against discrimination of their gig workers and are committed to performing regular and independent audits to ensure there is is not biased in their work allocation systems.
Fair representation: Despite the rise of collectivization of pay-per-view workers in India, none of the platforms have expressed their willingness to recognize a collective body of workers or a union.
Highlights: minimum wage with cost commitment
This year, BigBasket instituted a “concert worker payment policy” (effective December 1, 2021) that ensures all concert workers earn at least the minimum hourly wage after factoring in costs associated with the concert. work (which will be decided in periodic consultation with the workers).
Flipkart publicly committed on December 2, 2021 to guarantee an after-cost minimum hourly wage for all last mile delivery workers hired by Flipkart (Instakart) and contract workers.
Urban Company pledged on November 30, 2021 to ensure that its workers’ incomes do not fall below the prescribed minimum hourly wage after factoring in the costs of employing workers.
Make insurance more accessible:
Swiggy has changed its communications and insurance policies to educate workers and facilitate the insurance claims process. Zomato strives to increase awareness of its insurance policies and claims procedures to its employees.
Paid leave and safety nets:
Flipkart has committed to a policy of paid time off for the health protection of its concert delivery workforce with compensation that will match the worker’s average daily earnings, by April 2022. Urban Company has pledged to put in place a wage loss plan for its workers by the first quarter of 2022.
Reduce liability asymmetries:
Swiggy has incorporated a limited liability clause with an explicit monetary cap for any liability claims against workers, except any criminal liability claims and any claims arising from illegal commissions or commissions by workers. Zomato will apply a similar clause by January 2022. Zomato will also incorporate clauses to reimburse any unjustified monetary loss suffered by workers in identified circumstances.
Swiggy will revamp the interface of its delivery partner system to improve ease of ticket creation and tracking and roll out these policies by March 2022. Zomato will update its training material to educate workers on their ability to challenge penalties.
Breakdown of audit work:
BigBasket, Flipkart, Swiggy and Urban Company are committed to implementing regular audits to check for bias in the results of their work breakdown processes / systems (manual or automated).
“We hope that platforms, workers, regulators and consumers will use the Fairwork Framework and Assessments to imagine and realize a more just platform economy in India,” said Professors Balaji Parthasarathy and Janaki Srinivasan, Principal Investigators of the team.