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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: Providing them with the option of renting electric bikes for deliveries A 'no-questions-asked, two-day period time-off' policy where workers will be paid the minimum earnings guarantee Providing access to hygienic washrooms by collaborating with restaurants and petrol stations Safety training and an SOS helpline 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…

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