Zomato, Swiggy get 1/10 on working conditions of staff

Zomato, Swiggy get 1/10 on working conditions of gig employees

A recent report highlights how the pandemic has exacerbated the already precarious jobs of gig workers in India's top startups

Credit: DH File Photo/ BH Shivakumar

Satiating your hunger pangs at unearthly hours come at a cost — the well-being of the gig economy workforce or the delivery boys. Some of India’s biggest startups including Zomato, Uber and Swiggy poorly on working conditions for their gig workers.

A recent Fariwork India Ratings 2020 report rated Zomato, Uber and Swiggy 1/10 for labour standards, while Ola, Amazon and Bigbasket received a 2/10 rating for the same.

This fact has also been acknowledged by Zomato Chief Executive Officer Deepinder Goyal. Goyal said in a tweet that the company “didn’t know that there is so much more room for improvement”. Zomato slid down three points from last year’s 4/10.

In a gig economy, temporary, flexible jobs are preferred by companies rather than hiring full-time employees. It allows gig workers, who are independent contractual workers, to sign flexible agreements with companies or through platforms for on-demand work completion.

The report judged startups and companies in India on the basis of fair work, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management and fair representation for their platform workers. This is the second time this report has been released, on the basis of 113 interviews conducted with employees of 11 platforms between November 2019 and March 2020.

The top scorers with respect to the working environment for gig workers were Urban Company, with an 8/10 rating, and Flipkart’s logistics vertical, EKart, which got 7 out of 10.

The report states that the pandemic only exacerbated the already precarious livelihoods of platform workers.

“(The report) highlights how the work is mostly characterised by low pay, poor conditions, inequity and a lack of agency and voice. But there is no basis for workers who find their jobs through platforms to be denied key rights and protections that their counterparts in the formal sector enjoy,” the report states.

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