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

Several platforms have been designated in India.

© Getty Images / SOPA Images

In India, the digital platforms born of the uberization of society do not always offer good conditions for freelancers. At least that is the result of the latest evaluation by researchers from the research firm Fairwork. In their report, shared by our colleagues from TechCrunch, the experts point to the lack of fairness of certain heavyweights in the sector.

An independent ranking list

Five companies among the 12 surveyed achieved 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. These include Uber, PharmEasy (online pharmacy), Ola (two-wheeler taxi service), Dunzo (grocery delivery) 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. In order to classify companies according to the working conditions offered to the self-employed, the researchers have taken five decisive criteria as their starting point. Namely a fair wage, 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, carried out by a team of researchers with no ties to workers, platforms or government“, the organization assures.

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Often non-existent social protection

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

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

We hope that platforms, consumers, workers and regulators will make every effort to envision and achieve a fairer platform economy in India. Based on the assessments and results, some platforms have already expressed an interest in creating better working conditions“, assures Fairwork.

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