Principles

Principles2019-02-04T10:31:40+00:00

The Fairwork Foundation has collaboratively developed the following five principles through three stakeholder workshops that we hosted in 2018. The first was run together with the International Labour Organisation in Geneva. The second, was co-organised with Research ICT Africa in Johannesburg; and the third was co-organised in Bangalore with the International Institute of Information Technology.

Pay

Fairness relating to pay includes levels of pay, considering both minimum and living wages. Along with the amount of remuneration, this also involves fair pay terms including ensuring that workers costs are met. For location-based and macrowork, platforms protect against non-payment for completed work. For microwork platforms, non-payment is effectively regulated.

Conditions

Fair conditions cover the way in which the work is carried out. This includes aspects of the tasks being clear with reasonable timing, and particularly on microwork platforms, reviewed before posting to the platform. Health and safety is an important consideration, particularly in relation to risky work, but also relating to working hours and task specific concerns (like exposure to stressful or damaging content). The platform should provide stable employment and the possibility of further employment opportunities or career development.

Contracts

The key issue with fairness of contracts is the employment status of the worker and whether this reflects the employment relationship. Self-employment status should not be used unless it accurately captures the worker’s status. Platforms should comply with employment law, including fair contract terms, vicarious liability, risk insurance, shared liabilities, and social provisions.

Governance

Fair governance involves how the platform operates across five dimensions. First, management, involving fairness in relation to the work process, including disciplinary practices. Second, communication, with clear lines of contact between workers and a representative of the platform. Third, accountability, involving transparency in relation to decision-making processes. Fourth, use of data, which should be justified with a clear purpose and only with explicit informed consent. Fifth, equality, which is cross-cutting and ensures no discrimination.

Representation

Fair representation requires that workers have a voice on the platform. Workers have the right to be heard by a platform representative and there should be a clear process by which workers can lodge complaints, receive a response, and access a dispute resolution process. The platform observes the ILO right to free association, not linked to worker status, but as a universal right. Similarly, the platform accepts collective representation of workers and collective bargaining.

 

These principles form the basis for our ranking and certification processes. Platforms that are interested in achieving certification are welcome to get in touch.

 

Further details about these principles are set out below:

 

1. Pay

1.1 – Pays at least the local minimum wage

  • Irrespective of employment status of the worker, a point awarded if the platform has a policy which requires the payment of the minimum wage in the worker’s jurisdiction including the payment of sick and holiday pay.

1.2 – Pays the minimum wage plus costs

  • 1.1 achieved
  • A point awarded if the platform has a policy which requires the payment of a minimum which takes into account costs

2. Conditions

2.1 – Meets comparative health and safety regulations

  • The platform has policies in place that ensure local health and safety regulations for comparative work are met. For example, maximum working times being observed.

2.2 – Actively protects health and safety

  • 2.1 achieved
  • The platform goes beyond 2.1 to provide proactive measures that protect and promote the health and safety of workers

3. Contracts

3.1 – Clear terms and conditions

  • The terms and conditions are transparent, concise, and provided to workers in an accessible form

3.2 – Genuinely reflects the nature of the employment relationship

  • 3.1 achieved
  • To check whether the categorisation is genuine in relation to employment law

4. Governance

4.1 – Provides a clear channel of communication to workers involving the ability to appeal disciplinary procedures or deactivation

  • There is a documented process through which workers can appeal disciplinary procedures and have the right to due process on the platform

4.2 – Can evidence equality in the management process and/or any collection f data must bejustified with a clear purpose and only with explicity informed consent

  • 4.1 achieved
  • Two options for awarding 4.2.
    • First, there is a documented policy that ensures equality in the way workers are managed on the platform. For example, in the hiring, collection is documented with a clear purpose and explicit informed consent.
    • Second, data collection is documented with a clear purpose and explicit informed consent.

5. Representation

5.1 – Includes freedom of association and worker voice mechanisms

  • The platform provides a documented process through which worker voice can be expressed. There is no evidence of freedom of association being prevented by the platform. There is no evidence that platforms refuse to communicate with designated representatives of workers

5.2 – Recognises collective body that can undertake collective representation and bargaining

  • 5.1 achieved
  • The platform publicly recognises a collective body and is prepared to cooperate with collective representation and bargaining

 

These principles form the basis for our ranking and certification processes. Platforms that are interested in achieving certification are welcome to get in touch.