Fairwork is a project that is working to set and measure decent work standards in the platform economy.
In 2019, Fairwork launched its rankings of digital platforms in India and South Africa. Using data collected from platforms and workers, platform companies were scored against ten measures of fairness.
After this initial launch, Fairwork is turning its rating system into a certification scheme for use outside of our immediate focus countries. Based on adherence to the conditions below, we can assign a certified score to your platform; e.g.:
Fairwork focuses on companies that use digital platforms to distribute piecemeal work to workers who need access to the app or website to undertake it. Platforms that wish to be Fairwork certified should demonstrate that they comply with the principles below.
Fair Pay: Workers, irrespective of their employment classification, should earn a decent income in their home jurisdiction after taking account of work-related costs.
Fair Conditions: Platforms should have policies in place to protect workers from foundational risks arising from the processes of work, and should take proactive measures to protect and promote the health and safety of workers.
Fair Contracts: Terms and conditions should be transparent, concise, and provided to workers in an accessible form. The party contracting with the worker must be subject to local law and must be identified in the contract. If workers are genuinely self-employed, terms of service are free of clauses which unreasonably exclude liability on the part of the platform.
Fair Management: There should be a documented process through which workers can be heard, can appeal decisions affecting them, and be informed of the reasons behind those decisions. There must be a clear channel of communication to workers involving the ability to appeal management decisions or deactivation. The use of algorithms is transparent and results in equitable outcomes for workers. There should be an identifiable and documented policy that ensures equity in the way workers are managed on a platform (for example, in the hiring, disciplining, or firing of workers). Data collection should be documented with a clear purpose and explicit informed consent.
Fair Representation: Platforms should provide a documented process through which worker voice can be expressed. Irrespective of their employment classification, workers should have the right to organise in collective bodies, and platforms should be prepared to cooperate and negotiate with them.
For each of the five Fairwork Principles, a basic point and an advanced point can be awarded to platforms, for more detail on the scoring mechanism see here.
Upon request, Fairwork will work with your company to establish what sort of evidence can be used to verify each of our ten measures of fairness. We will only ever seek to publicly release summary information to indicate why particular points were awarded. Our method also only allows us to comment on points that are awarded rather than ones that aren’t. Non-awarded points can mean that a particular standard has not been adhered to, but could also indicate that insufficient data is available for us to assign a score for that particular principle.
We cross-check all information with publicly available data and reports, a whistleblowing feature on our website, and occasional anonymous interviews with workers. In cases where there are discrepancies, we will seek further supporting evidence.
Platforms wishing to be certified will be asked to pay a fee to finance the process of research, data gathering, and compilation. The process should be carried out within three months of the Fairwork team receiving the evidentiary data from the platform. Scores will then be posted on the fair.work website on a bespoke page for your company.
Platforms will also be able to use our certified score on their websites, promotional materials, and products. When used on websites and apps, the kitemark should link back to your company page on the Fairwork website.
All awarded scores will be valid for a period of twelve months, after which the platform and/or Fairwork can decide whether to initiate a reappraisal. If no reappraisal is carried out then the previous score will ‘expire’ and platforms will be asked to take down any Fairwork certification on their materials.
Please get in touch with firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to discuss how certification would work for your company.