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COVID-19 and India’s Gig Economy: The Case of Ride-Hailing Companies

Via the Observer Research Foundation

This special report by the Observer Research Foundation analyses the impact of COVID-19 on the ride-hailing sector in India. Using Ola and Uber as case studies, the report finds that the health crisis continues to threaten the livelihoods of the drivers.

Both Ola and Uber have initiatives to prevent infections among drivers and passengers, handle suspected and actual infections, cover medical COVID-19-related expenses and provide financial support to drivers.

However, the report notes that these responses came late, after media reports and protests by drivers, and that there have been several challenges in implementing them.

Overall, the report finds that the COVID-19-related measures by Ola and Uber are more appearance than substance, providing neither sufficient health protection nor adequate financial support.

The author Sabrina Korreck calls on both companies to focus on covering the basic and immediate needs of drivers- providing access to food and rations distributions and/or income support.


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