Principles 2018-07-17T11:42:44+00:00

The Fairwork Foundation has collaboratively developed the following nine principles through stakeholder workshops.


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.


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.


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.


Fairness in relation to equality is a cross-cutting principle. Platforms should ensure there is no discrimination in the work process, whether in hiring, management, or account deactivation. Similarly, there should be no differences in pay on the basis of race or gender.


Fair communication involves clear lines of communication between workers and a representative of the platform and/or the client. The platform should facilitate communication that is prompt, respectful, and substantive. Workers should have the ability to communicate with each other through the platform.


Fair management involves a process in which workers should have clear guidance on the work, along with regular reviews of task instructions, ratings, and evaluations. Ratings should only be used for direct job-related performance and transparent for workers. Any disciplinary practices should be fair, with workers having access to dispute resolution in which they can contest decisions. Account deactivations need to be reviewed by a human platform representative and can be contested.


For governance, fairness involves transparency, in which decisions that affect workers are made clear. The decision-making process need to be accountable, with a line of accountability to a human platform representative.

Use of Data

Fair use of data must respect both data protection and privacy, particularly respecting that private social media accounts should not be used. Any collection of data must be justified with a clear purpose and only with explicit informed consent. Workers should have access to – and influence over – their own data, which is exportable where appropriate.


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 the certification process, which involves translating these to work with different types of platforms and local contexts. The certification process will therefore involve using these principles in practice.