Source | hr-economictimes-indiatimes-com.cdn.ampproject.org | Emma Batha
LONDON: Gig workers using some of Britain’s most popular labour platforms, including Amazon Flex and Uber Eats, often earn less than the minimum wage, researchers said on Tuesday, as they called for stronger protections.
Amazon’s courier arm and cab services Bolt and Ola came bottom in a University of Oxford study looking at how fairly 11 of the country’s best-known platforms treat workers, with all three scoring zero points.
“The lack of stable income due to the highly variable nature of the demand for gig services and the lack of any formal employment protection means gig companies wield an exceptional amount of power over gig workers,” the study said.
The report comes amid a growing global debate on how to regulate workers’ rights in the gig economy, where people tend to work for one or more companies on a job-by-job basis.
In February, Britain’s Supreme Court decided a group of Uber drivers, who are currently treated as self-employed with minimal protections, were entitled to worker rights such as paid holidays in a ruling with potentially wide ramifications.
About 2.8 million people in Britain, at least 4.4% of the population worked in the gig economy in 2017, official data shows. The Covid-19 pandemic has likely boosted numbers as more people turn to online shopping and food delivery services.
In the first of its kind study by Fairwork, an international project run by the Oxford Internet Institute, companies were scored on five areas – pay, conditions, contracts, management, and representation. Helpling, a platform for cleaners, and courier service Stuart both scored one out of 10, followed by cab service Uber, food delivery spinoff Uber Eats and odd-jobs app TaskRabbit, each with two points.