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COVID-19 policies leave gig workers out in the Cold- Fairwork

By Fairwork Foundation

The Fairwork Foundation which advocates for better working conditions for gig workers has been critical of measures by platforms saying they seem geared more toward protecting the customers and not the workers.

A survey by Fairwork of about 90 platforms showed that the most common responses such as contact-free delivery and hand-sanitizers or masks were only band-aid measures, barely enough to treat an already open wound.

Initially, Fairwork says, some platforms refused to provide even these basic protections, arguing that their workers are self-employed, "thereby extricating the platforms from any obligation to guarantee their health and safety".

"Our results show that from India to the UK, from the US to South Africa, their responses are insufficient. In most cases, companies pay lip service to protection without investing meaningfully in action that would actually protect their workforce" - Fairwork.

Fairwork also says that some platforms in India and China have rolled out ethically questionable policies like measuring the temperature of workers and sharing this information in real-time with customers.

Fairwork is also critical of the hardship funds that have been set up by the platforms.


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