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Big Basket Tops Fairwork India Rating 2023 with BluSmart ride service close at heels

Following the passing of the Rajasthan Platform-based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Act, 2023, the report also spoke to consumers in 12 cities of India to understand their awareness of gig worker grievances

What’s the news: Big Basket, Zomato, Urban Company and Zepto scored the highest points in the Fairwork India Report 2023 with Big Basket scoring the overall highest score of 6 out of 10 points. The report evaluates 12 platforms offering location-based services in sectors such as domestic and personal care, logistics, food delivery, and transportation, in India.

To assess the platforms’ minimum standards of fair work, the report focused on five aspects with two points attributed to each: fair pay, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management, and fair representation. Of the 12 companies, only the aforementioned companies scored both points for fair conditions and fair contract. However, only Big Basket, Urban Company and Flipkart received a point for fair pay. Last year, Urban Company had topped the rating with 7 out of 10 points.

Meanwhile, not a single company received any points for fair representation – that looks at the documented process within the organisation for workers to express themselves. Ola and Porter, notably, scored 0 out of 10 in the ratings on all five aspects. Uber scored only one point.

BluSmart gets a decent rating: Apart from the usual suspects (Uber, Ola, Swiggy, Zomato, Urban Company, Amazon Flex, Zepto, Dunzo, Big Basket, Porter) The report also assessed BluSmart, a ride-hailing platform aggregator that owns and leases vehicles to its workers, in its ratings. The report said that the company’s ownership and leasing activities set it apart from other platforms in this sector “that operate on “asset-light” models.”

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“In its first year of participation in the Fairwork ratings, BluSmart scored higher than more established platforms in the ride-hailing sector, with 5 points out of 10. Thus, there is room for cautious optimism that BluSmart’s operational model might represent a step towards better conditions for drivers in the platform economy,” said the report.

Consumers support gig workers’ demands of regulation, etc.: Following the passing of legislations like the Rajasthan Platform-based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Act, 2023, the report surveyed to 963 consumers in 12 cities of India where such services are available. As per the survey, a significant number of people interviewed said they supported workers’ demands for a living wage including a call for reduced platform commission, increased tipping, higher consumer delivery fees.

“66 percent of consumers in the large cities strongly agreed that the government must act against platforms that repeatedly fail to offer their workers either fair pay or fair working conditions,” said the report.

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I'm interested in the shaping and strengthening of rights in the digital space. I cover cybersecurity, platform regulation, gig worker economy. In my free time, I'm either binge-watching an anime or off on a hike.

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