Fairwork is a project that is working to set and measure decent work standards in the platform economy.
The Fairwork Foundation has brought together platforms, workers, trade unions, regulators, and academics in meetings held at the International Labour Organisation in order to set global principles for fair work in the platform economy. Those principles were then revised through four tripartite workshops in South Africa and India. Five core principles emerged out of those workshops.
Workers, irrespective of their employment classification, should earn a decent income in their home jurisdiction after taking account of work-related costs.
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.
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.
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.
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, leading to a total fairness score out of ten. More information about Fairwork ranking can be found here.
Fairwork is piloting our rating scheme in South Africa, India, the UK and Germany. In order to score platforms based outside of those four countries, we have established the Fairwork Certification scheme. We invite companies to get in touch who wish to be rated.