Uber, Dunzo, Ola, PharmEasy and Amazon Flex scored no points on the Fairwork India Ratings 2022, which evaluates and ranks the working conditions of gig workers on digital platforms. This year, the report is structured around the theme of flexibility, which is often portrayed as a crucial dimension and benefit of platform work.
In minimum standards of fair work, Urban Company scored the highest 7 out of 10, followed by Bigbasket (6), Flipkart (5), Swiggy (5), Zomato (4), Zepto (2) and Porter (1).
In the fair pay category this year, Bigbasket, Flipkart, and Urban Company implemented and operationalised policies to ensure all workers on these platforms earn at least the hourly local minimum wage after factoring in work-related costs.
Bigbasket, Flipkart, Swiggy, Urban Company and Zomato were awarded the first point under 'fair conditions' for simplifying insurance claims processes and for having operational emergency helplines on their platform. Only Bigbasket, Swiggy and Urban Company were awarded the second point for implementing a loss-of-pay policy that provides workers with a financial safety net during medical illnesses.
In fair contracts, 7 -- Bigbasket, Flipkart, Swiggy, Porter, Urban Company, Zepto and Zomato -- out of 12 platforms were awarded the first point for ensuring accessibility of their contracts and implementing a notice period before changes are made. Additionally, Flipkart, Swiggy, Urban Company, Zepto and Zomato modified their contracts to reduce the asymmetry in liabilities. They added a clause for dispute resolution between workers and platforms and received the second point under fair contracts.
In fair management, Bigbasket, Flipkart, Swiggy, Urban Company and Zomato were awarded the first point for having a grievance redressal process with the option to connect with a human representative of the platform. There was sufficient evidence only from Urban Company to meet the second point for the principle, the report said, adding that it instituted regular external audits to check for biases in its work allocation systems, in addition to adopting policies against the discrimination of its platform workers.
In fair representation -- via a collective body or trade union -- the project found “insufficient evidence” from any platform to show a willingness to recognise a collective body of workers. "Representation through a collective body or trade union is a vital dimension of fairness at work. It is disconcerting that despite the rise in platform worker collectivisation across the country, no platform was found to meet the thresholds of this principle,” the report said.
The Fairwork project this year evaluated 12 platforms in India. It found that the same three platforms – Urban Company, bigbasket and Flipkart – that scored the first point for ‘fair pay’ last year scored a point this year, too. No other platform stated that workers earn at least the hourly local minimum wage after work-related costs, it was found.
The report says even as instances of "abuse" and "discrimination" against platform workers have surfaced this year, the legal landscape of the platform economy in India remains largely unchanged.