There are now over seven million digital platform workers that live all over the world, doing work that is outsourced via platforms or apps. Lacking the ability to collectively bargain, platform workers have little ability to negotiate wages and working conditions with their employers.

Platform work provides essential income and opportunities to many. However, some types of platform work have also become synonymous with extremely low pay, precarity, and poor and dangerous working conditions. This is a state of affairs that is not just undesirable for workers, but also for client firms and end-consumers. Client firms will want to avoid the reputational risks of outsourcing to poorly-treated workers; and research has shown that consumers who are able to do so are often willing to pay a premium to ensure that products they buy were produced under good working conditions.

The Fairwork Foundation is committed to highlighting best and worst practices in the emerging platform economy. Governments, platform operators, unions and workers have all been consulted to establish our core principles. We then plan on using those principles to rate and rank platform companies. The Fairwork Foundation therefore seeks to harness consumer power, along with leverage from workers and platforms, to significantly contribute to the welfare and job quality of digital workers.

Follow the project at @towardsfairwork or get in touch if you’d like to learn more.