Fairwork updates its cloudwork principles

Posted on 04.07.2024
cloudwork principle update blog cover

With the Fairwork research team about to kick off work on a new round of cloudwork platform ratings in 2024, the Fairwork Cloudwork Principles have been updated and published on the Fairwork website 

This is the first update to the Cloudwork Principles since November 2021, when the last iteration of the principles came into effect. These latest revisions were based on feedback from stakeholders–such as platform managers, workers and their representatives, policymakers and other researchers with expertise in the field–and are intended to fine-tune the evidence collection and assessment process in 2024 and beyond.  

The feedback from stakeholders that informed these latest changes was collected during workshops or individual meetings and the review process of previous scoring cycles.  

The proposed changes were reviewed and verified by experts from our network. Their input was essential to making the improvements to the cloudwork principles reflected in this latest version.  

What changed? 

The latest changes to the Fairwork Cloudwork Principles were to principles 3, 4 and 5.  

  • In threshold 3.2 (Fair Contracts), new wording specifies situations in which workers’ job cancellations should not impact their ratings, for instance, when job cancellations happen in agreement with clients or for a reasonable cause (e.g. if the worker gets sick). 
  • The change to threshold 4.1 (Fair Management), is meant to clarify new standards regarding transparency in disciplinary actions. According to the amended text, prohibited actions should be documented to increase transparency about what a company considers punishable offences by its workers.  
  • The updated version of threshold 5.1 (Fair Representation) clarifies the type of dispute resolution processes that are considered to grant a point. According to the updated wording, there are two acceptable approaches to dispute resolution: either workers should have access to an independent and freely chosen representative, or the platform should have an unbiased and accessible dispute resolution system. In addition, the new wording reinforces the need for platforms to issue formal recognition of freedom of association via a public statement to gain this point. 
  • The wording in threshold 5.2 has been updated to more clearly differentiate it from 5.1 and to fine-tune the requirement that companies recognise and engage with workers’ bodies. It also specifies how platforms can attain this point in cases where such organisations have not reached out to them directly.

All of these amendments were implemented to ensure greater clarity and encourage companies’ closer adherence to Fairwork’s standards of fair work. The changes were discussed within the project team and then submitted to experts from our network for review and approval. These principles will be operationalised during the 2024 cloudwork scoring process and reflected in the next cloudwork report.