DIGILABOUR publishes an interview with the Fairwork Team

Why platforms should follow decent work principles

On August 3, 2020, DIGILABOUR published an interview in Portuguese with members from the Fairwork Oxford team: Professor Mark Graham, Dr. Kelle Howson and Dr. Funda Ustek-Spilda. Below we publish this interview in English. The interview was facilitated and translated to Portuguese by Fairwork Brazil Principal Investigator Prof. Dr. Rafael Grohmann from Universidade do Vale do Rio dos Sinos.

You can read the original interview in Portuguese here.

DIGILABOUR: Why is it important for platforms to follow Fairwork principles?

Mark Graham: One of the defining features of the gig economy is the […]

By |2020-08-10T16:55:27+01:00August 10th, 2020|Categories: Blog, Press release|0 Comments

The Uprising of Brazilian Food Delivery Riders

The strikes in Brazil reveal the power of workers’ struggles and the importance of fair work on digital platforms

By Rafael Grohmann, Rodrigo Carelli, Daniel Abs, Julice Salvagni, Kelle Howson, Funda Ustek-Spilda and Mark Graham 

In July,  Brazil experienced two historic strikes by food delivery riders who work for digital platforms. Brazil has the world’s fifth largest population of internet users, and for a day, many of them directed their attention to the grievances of millions of the country’s gig workers. The strikers’ demands included an increase in pay, ending the processes that lead […]

By |2020-08-10T19:18:07+01:00August 10th, 2020|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Join our team. We are hiring two Postdoctoral Researchers.

The Fairwork Project is hiring for the following two positions: 

  1. Postdoctoral Researcher I (Grade 8: £41,526 – £49,553 p.a; fixed term contract until 30 June 2022 in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal thereafter; deadline: 12.00 midday on 10 September 2020)
  2. Postdoctoral Researcher II (Grade 8: £41,526 – £49,553 p.a; fixed-term until 31 December 2021 in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal thereafter; deadline: 12.00 midday on 10 September 2020)

About Fairwork 

By |2020-08-27T13:26:46+01:00July 21st, 2020|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Join our Team. We are hiring multiple Research Assistants.

The Fairwork Project is hiring multiple research assistants (Grade 6: £29,176 – £34,804 p.a.), in fixed-term posts until 28 February 2021 in the first instance, with the possibility of renewal thereafter

The deadline to apply for these positions is 12.00 noon on 13 August 2020.

We’re also hiring two postdoctoral researchers – see more here.

About Fairwork 

Fairwork is an action-research project based at the Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. We research working conditions in the gig economy, in order to develop ‘fairness ratings’ for digital labour platforms like Uber, […]

By |2020-07-21T11:05:48+01:00July 21st, 2020|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Call for Paper Proposals: Migration, migrant work(ers) and the gig economy

The study of platform-mediated gig work has granted insufficient critical attention to questions of migration and migrant labour. Mark Graham, Niels van Doorn, Fabian Ferrari, and Srujana Katta are putting together a theme issue of Environment and Planning A to address that gap.

One set of questions that contributors to the theme issue may address concerns the structural role of migrant labour in sustaining the gig economy. Without a steady influx of migrants, platform companies like Uber, Ola, Helpling, Rappi, and Deliveroo would have trouble maintaining their labour supply in almost any […]

By |2020-06-09T15:43:51+01:00June 9th, 2020|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

First round of Fairwork’s yearly platform ratings in Germany launched

The Fairwork Germany 2020 report (English; German) highlights how platforms in Germany fare in the working conditions they provide to their workers. This research is particularly timely in light of the COVID-19 public health crisis, which has brought the risks faced by front-line platform workers into sharp relief.  

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the fore the contradictions of the platform economy. On the one hand, it is highlighting the important role that many platform workers play in bringing essential goods and services to those who […]

By |2020-05-21T07:33:52+01:00May 21st, 2020|Categories: Blog|2 Comments

Gig Workers are Among the Most Vulnerable Groups in South Africa’s Covid-19 Crisis

How are the tens of thousands of gig workers in South Africa—those performing tasks for digital platforms like Uber, Mr D and SweepSouth—being supported during the Covid-19 crisis?

A recent Fairwork report considers this; undertaking a review of gig economy platform and government responses, supplemented by a small survey of worker experiences.

While gig workers are by no means the only vulnerable group in South Africa suffering during the pandemic, their non-standard employment status is proving a particular challenge.  Platforms – arguably incorrectly and possibly even illegally – tend to regard […]

By |2020-05-13T09:27:21+01:00May 13th, 2020|Categories: Blog|1 Comment

COVID-19 Policies Leave Gig Workers Out in the Cold

How are platforms responding to the COVID-19 crisis? Who do they protect and how much? 

As new coronavirus cases are rapidly increasing across the world, gig workers are on the front lines of this crisis. They are delivering food and household essentials to those self-isolating or practicing social distancing and are providing much needed care services to those in need. As such, they are among the “key workers” the UK government announced: those “who are maintaining essential public services during the Covid-19 response”.  

To see how platforms have been responding to […]

By |2020-04-09T18:11:05+01:00April 9th, 2020|Categories: Blog|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Fairwork’s Strategies for Improving Gig Work

How can we measure whether gig work is fair work?

The Fairwork initiative has developed a framework of decent work standards for the gig economy.  This was based on a review of existing standards that was then developed further at workshops in Berlin, Geneva, Bangalore, and Johannesburg.

The workshops condensed the standards into five principles, each with two thresholds of fairness (see Table 1). The initial threshold is a floor underneath which working conditions should not fall.  The secondary threshold is a more aspirational target.  Each carries a weight of one point; and so gig economy platforms can be awarded […]

By |2020-03-17T21:05:34+00:00March 17th, 2020|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Fairwork’s Scorecard for the UK 2019 General Election is out: See how each party would support gig workers

Election Scorecard

This election, know where the parties stand on the struggles facing an estimated 2.8 million gig workers in the UK.

Gig work, from ridesharing, delivery driving, cleaning and caring, to online freelancing, seems to be the future of work. It offers workers better flexibility and more independence.

But that flexibility has come at a price. Managers push risk onto gig workers, who are not given the rights and protections of regular employees – like pensions, sick leave, and holiday pay.

Many gig workers are classified as self-employed. But they still depend […]

By |2019-12-16T11:14:09+00:00December 4th, 2019|Categories: Blog|1 Comment

Fairwork Foundation’s First Annual Report Released!

We’re delighted to announce the release of our first major report, The Five Pillars of Fairwork. This report is the culmination of many months of fieldwork, background research, and stimulating engagement with a variety of stakeholders, from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), policy makers and trade unions, to platform workers and owners in Bangalore, Cape Town and Johannesburg. In it, we take a deep dive into the work we did this past year, showcase our findings, and present our plans for the future. 

What’s the report about?

An estimated

By |2019-10-16T22:58:13+01:00October 17th, 2019|Categories: Blog|2 Comments

We’re hiring. Work with us to pilot Fairwork UK and Fairwork Germany.

Researcher in Social Science
Oxford Internet Institute, 1 St Giles, Oxford
Grade 7: £32,236 – £39,609 p.a.

We are looking for someone to join our team of researchers from around the world. The Oxford Internet Institute (OII) is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Researcher to work with the Fairwork Foundation. This position provides an exciting opportunity to work with our team to co-develop standards of fair work and apply them to digital platforms in Germany and the UK.

Applicants will have a relevant postgraduate degree in sociology, geography, anthropology, economics, development studies, communications, law, social policy, or related […]

By |2019-09-24T09:00:31+01:00September 3rd, 2019|Categories: Blog, Uncategorised|0 Comments

One small step towards decent work for Uber workers

In Uber v Aslam,  decided in December 2018, the UK Court of Appeal has held that Uber drivers are ‘workers’ for the purposes of the national minimum wage and paid holidays. This constitutes a small step towards the goal of decent work for Uber drivers in London, and it is to be hoped that the Supreme Court will uphold the decision. However, in an article published in the Industrial Law Journal on 21 May 2019, FairWork co-investigators Sandra Fredman and Darcy du Toit point out that the decision underscores yet again the fragility of using the […]

By |2019-06-12T12:40:29+01:00June 12th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

New Scores for South Africa Released!

Tens of  millions of people across the world now find work through digital platforms. From Brazil and India, to South Africa and the United States, platform workers are organising, taking action, and demanding the establishment of robust regulations across this rapidly developing sector.

Analysing the first set of Fairwork scores, which were published on the 25th March, it is striking how across the platforms in both India and South Africa, similar issues emerged. While food delivery platform workers in Bangalore and Johannesburg clearly work in different geographies, similar […]

By |2019-08-28T12:37:42+01:00June 6th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

A Living Wage for South African Platform Workers

A fair level of pay for platform workers means going beyond a minimum wage to see those workers paid a living wage.  But what is a living wage; what justifies its payment; and – as a guide to Fairwork’s activity in South Africa – what level should it be set at?

What is a Living Wage?

A living wage is remuneration sufficient for a basic but decent standard of living for a worker and his/her family.  “Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transport, clothing, and other essential needs, including provision for unexpected […]

By |2019-05-30T12:04:11+01:00May 30th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Fairwork paper shortlisted for the best paper award at the Weizenbaum Institute’s annual conference

A paper on the Fairwork project was one of three papers shortlisted for the best paper award at the German Internet Institute (the Weizenbaum Institute’s) annual conference – held in May 2019 in Berlin, Germany. This paper, was authored by Mark Graham, Richard Heeks, Jamie Woodcock, Sandy Fredman, Darcy du Toit, Jean-Paul van Belle, Paul Mungai and Abigail Osiki. You can download it at the link below:

Graham, M, Woodcock, J., Heeks, R., Fredman, S., du Toit, D., van Belle, J-P., Mungai, P., Osiki, A. 2019. The Fairwork Foundation: Strategies for […]

By |2019-05-26T13:29:41+01:00May 26th, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments

Mindeststandards für faire Plattformarbeit

Zum diesjährigen Tag der Arbeit hat Katarina Barley, Bundesjustizministerin und SPD-Spitzenkandidatin im Europawahlkampf, die Einführung einer EU-Richtline für faire Plattformarbeit gefordert. Dafür brauche es “verbindliche Mindeststandards für die Vergütung, und für den Arbeits- und Gesundheitsschutz”. Außerdem müssten geltende Mitbestimmungsregeln eingehalten werden, um die Entstehung eines „digitalen Prekariats“ zu verhindern, so Barley. Jedoch ließ die Ministerin offen, wie diese Mindeststandards in der Praxis aussehen könnten und wie genau Plattformen sanktioniert werden können, wenn sie diese Regeln nicht einhalten.

Genau hier setzt die „Fairwork Foundation” an. Nach erfolgreichen Pilotstudien in Südafrika und Indien dehnen wir das Projekt nun auf […]

By |2019-05-03T11:42:30+01:00May 3rd, 2019|Categories: Blog|0 Comments