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Ola, Uber, Three Others Rated Zero On Fairwork's Gig Workers Condition Index The annual report of Fairwork India reveals the hard-sad reality of gig economy of the country

By Paromita Gupta

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Indian home services platform Urban Company ranked 1st on the 'Fairwork India Ratings 2022: Labour Standards in the Platform Economy', scoring 7/10, followed by grocery startup bigbasket and e-commerce giant Flipkart, scoring 6/10 and 5/10 respectively on an index on gig workers condition.

Whereas, five platforms; Amazon Flex, Dunzo, Ola, PharmEasy, and Uber, failed to secure any points on the board.

On Tuesday, Fairwork India released its report on the working conditions of gig workers in the country. The report evaluated 12 startups based on five Fairwork principles of Fair Pay, Fair Conditions, Fair Contracts, Fair Management, and Fair Representation and gave a rating on a scale of 0 to 10.

The 12 evaluated Indian platforms were Amazon Flex, bigbasket, Dunzo, Flipkart, Ola, PharmEasy, Porter, Swiggy, Uber, Urban Company, Zomato, and Zepto. Out of the 12, five received a rating of 0/10.

Gig workers simply refer to independent and temporary workers who enter a formal agreement with companies to provide services on behalf of them.

The Fairwork Project is an initiative by the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford and the report was presented by Fairwork India in partnership with the Centre for IT and Public Policy (CITAPP) and International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore (IIIT-B).

The report is aimed at providing a basis to formulate policies for the platform economy, keeping in mind various stakeholders.

The study was conducted based on five key Fairwork principles of Fair Pay, Fair Conditions, Fair Contracts, Fair Management, and Fair Representation.

Each of the principles is broken down into two points (5 principles*2 points=10 points), the first point and second point. The second point is awarded only if the first point is fulfilled.

Fair Play- (first point) Ensures workers earn at least the local minimum wage after costs and (second point) Ensures workers earn at least a local living wage after costs.

Fair Conditions- (first point) Mitigates task-specific risks and (second point) Provides a safety net.

Fair Contracts- (first point) Provides clear and transparent terms and conditions and (second point) Ensures that no unfair contract terms are imposed.

Fair Management - (first point) How does the scoring system work? And (second point) Provides equity in the management process.

Fair Representation- (first point) Assures freedom of association and the expression of collective worker voice and (second point) Supports democratic governance.

Out of the 12, only four faired a 5 or above on the scoreboard. Urban Company, bigbasket, and Flipkart were the only ones to score in Fair Pay, while no platform out of 12 scored in Fair Representation. Logistics service Porter scored only one point under the Fair Contract.

Seven out of 12 platforms scored under the Fair Contracts principle. They were bigbasket, Flipkart, Porter, Swiggy, Urban Company, Zomato, and Zepto.

"Even with workers and worker groups repeatedly emphasising the importance of a stable income for platform workers, platforms have been reluctant to publicly commit to, and operationalise, a minimum wage policy. Secondly, while workers have engaged in various forms of collective action to voice their concerns in the platform economy, platforms have been uncompromisingly unwilling to recognise or negotiate with any collective body representing workers," said the report.

Paromita Gupta

Entrepreneur Staff

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 
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