Launching the five principles of fair work

Posted on 05.10.2018

We have launched a revised list of five principles for the Fairwork Foundation. Through continued consultation and collaboration with stakeholders, as well as beginning the ranking process in each country, we have decided to revise the nine principles into a more coherent five. This allows the principles to align closely with the forthcoming ranking criteria, while also reflecting the relative importance of each criteria to the improvement of fairness.

The nine original principles included: Pay, Conditions, Contracts, Equality, Management, Communication, Accountability, Use of Data, and Representation. These have been condensed into five principles of: Pay, Conditions, Contracts, Governance, and Representation.

The principles of Pay, Conditions, Contracts, and Representation remain unchanged. The five other principles – Management, Equality, Communication, Accountability, and Use of Data – have been combined into a new principle of Governance. Each of these aspects are related to the way in which the platform manages its operations and the people who work for it. While each was important to draw out as a separate principle at first, they have been weighted together in the ranking scheme as the empirical research conducted so far with workers – along with the stakeholder meetings in Geneva, Johannesburg, and Bangalore – places significantly less emphasis on each of these in relation to Pay, Conditions, Contracts, and Representation. This ensures that the categories that workers deem most important for “fair work” are appropriately weighted, ensuring that higher scores accurately reflect a platform that is experienced as “fairer.”

The forthcoming ranking scheme involves scoring the platform against each of these new five principles. For each principle a platform can be awarded a total of two points. The second point can only be awarded if the first level is achieved, allowing a basic and higher level of fairness to be asssessed. This provides a total score out of a possible of ten points. Each of the original nine principles features within the new five principles and ranking scheme, albeit now weighted appropriately.