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 the crisis, the Fairwork team has been systematically collecting any policies that they have put in place to mitigate the risks that gig workers face. Our results show that from India to the UK, from the US to South Africa, their responses are insufficient. In most cases, they pay lip service to protection without investing meaningfully in action that would actually protect their workforce.
We have published the results of our ongoing research at various outlets. You can find them here:
- The Untenable Luxury of Self-Isolation published in the New Internationalist on 18 March 2020.
- The Politics of COVID-19: Gig work and the Coronavirus Crisis published in the Redpepper on 26 March 2020.
- From Social Distancing to Social Solidarity: Gig economy and the COVID-19 published on the OECD Development Matters blog on 27 March 2020.
- COVID-19 Policies Leave Gig Workers Out in the Cold published on Botpopuli.net on 09 April 2020.