In India, Uber and Amazon impose precarious working conditions on freelancers

Several platforms are singled out in India.

© Getty Images / SOPA Images

In India, the digital platforms born from the uberization of society do not always offer good conditions for freelancers. In any case, this is the result of the latest evaluation by researchers from the research firm Fairwork. In their reportrelayed by our colleagues from TechCrunchexperts point to the lack of fairness of some heavyweights in the sector.

An independent ranking

Five companies among the 12 studied obtained a score of zero out of ten. According to Fairwork, the offending companies failed to promote the creation of fair conditions for their self-employed workers. These include Uber, PharmEasy (online pharmacy), Ola (two-wheeled taxi service), Dunzo (delivery of grocery products) and finally Amazon Flex.

The Fairwork India team, led by the Center for Computing and Public Policy in Bangalore, relies on its partners at the University of Oxford. To classify companies according to the working conditions offered to the self-employed, the researchers based themselves on five determining criteria. Namely a fair salary, safe working conditions, fair contracts for workers, quality management and finally respect for organizations or collectives of workers.

The ranking of the fairest digital platforms for freelancers, according to Fairwork.

The ranking of the fairest digital platforms for freelancers, according to Fairwork.

© Capture Fairwork

The rating process is an independent assessment of the platforms, conducted by a team of researchers with no ties to workers, platforms or government“, assures the organization.

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Often non-existent social protection

The promise of flexibility in the digital platform economy raises as many questions about livelihoods as it offers opportunities. We hope that the Fairwork report will serve as the basis for an interpretation of flexibility that allows not only the adaptability sought by platforms, but also the income and social security that workers lack.“, said professors Balaji Parthasarathy and Janaki Srinivasan, principal researchers of the team, in a press release, relayed by TechCrunch.

In several countries around the world, digital platforms do not offer sufficient guarantees to self-employed workers. Benefits such as health insurance or unemployment benefits are not offered to them because of their status. Through this ranking, Fairwork wishes to highlight companies that invest in providing better working conditions to the self-employed. A way to reward the efforts of more equitable companies and to point the finger at bad practices in the sector.

We hope that platforms, consumers, workers and regulators will do everything to imagine and achieve a fairer platform economy in India. Based on the ratings and results, some platforms have already expressed interest in creating better working conditions“, assures Fairwork.

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