wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

, ,

Swiggy will give female delivery workers paid period time-off, but gig workers still have little flexibility

Swiggy’s announcement comes at a time when the debate around categorising gig workers as employees is taking off in India.

Swiggy Food Delivery

Female delivery workers on Swiggy can now avail a period leave of two days while still being paid the ‘minimum earnings guarantee’, the company announced in a recent blog post. Additionally, all delivery workers will be allowed to turn down orders in areas considered unsafe, without triggering any disincentives or questioning.

While the announcement is welcome, it also highlights how little flexibility gig workers are otherwise entitled to. The debate around categorising gig workers as employees is taking off in India, and the nature of the relationship between platforms and gig workers needs to be seen in that context.

What are the measures announced by Swiggy?

Here are some significant measures recently announced by Swiggy to encourage women to deliver with the company:

  1. Providing them with the option of renting electric bikes for deliveries
  2. A ‘no-questions-asked, two-day period time-off’ policy where workers will be paid the minimum earnings guarantee
  3. Providing access to hygienic washrooms by collaborating with restaurants and petrol stations
  4. Safety training and an SOS helpline
  5. Ability to turn down orders in unsafe areas with no disincentives and no questioning

What flexibility do gig workers in India currently have?

While Swiggy’s reforms are welcome, they also highlight the limited flexibility that gig workers are otherwise entitled to. The Indian Federation of App Based Transport Workers (IFAT) brought this issue to light in a recent petition filed under the Supreme Court, demanding that the court declare gig workers as employees.

Platforms claim that gig work is characterised by flexibility, but they actually exert significant control over the working hours of gig workers, IFAT argued in the petition. Here are six ways in which platforms exert control over gig workers, according to IFAT’s petition:

  • The compulsion of working/hailing rides for a minimum no. of hours in a day to remain active on the App;
  • Following code of conduct set by the Aggregator companies;
  • No freedom to refuse a ride/ pick up
  • No freedom to communicate and/or contact a passenger save and except for the purpose of ride;
  • Undergoing training sessions with the Aggregator companies; and
  • Installing location tracking devices in vehicle that must necessarily be kept switched on all the time;
  • Charges for rides and deliveries decided by the aggregators, over which the App-based drivers have no control over etc.

Listing these reasons, the petition argues that aggregators have significant control over the manner of work carried out by the workers, resembling a traditional employee-employer relationship.

MediaNama reached out to Swiggy for clarification regarding the degree of flexibility that gig workers on the platform have, but Swiggy chose not to respond.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Also read: App Delivery Workers Missing Out On Social Security Benefits File Petition In Supreme Court

Why are Indian gig workers asking for recognition of an employee-employer relationship?

Currently, gig workers not getting benefits under social security schemes for organised and unorganised workers. The petition’s main demand is to be recognised as unorganised workers under the Unorganised Workers Act 2008, which would entitle them to the following benefits:

  • Life and disability cover
  • Old age protection
  • Provident fund
  • Employment injury benefit
  • Housing
  • Educational schemes for children
  • Old age homes

Government might adhere to demands: The government is currently considering widening the ambit of ’employment’ to include gig and platform work. The reform is being considered under a new National Employment Policy, which would recategorise platform workers and anganwadi workers as employees.

Also read:

Have something to add? Post your comment and gift someone a MediaNama subscription.

Written By

Reporter at MediaNama. Email: nishant@medianama.com

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

Views

News

India and US come to terms on how to deal with the equalisation levy in light of the impending Global Tax Deal.

News

Find out how people’s health data is understood to have value and who can benefit from that value.

News

The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.

News

When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.

News

The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

You May Also Like

News

Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...

Advert

135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...

News

Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...

News

By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Name:*
Your email address:*
*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ