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Fairwork Report: Uber, Bolt, Others Fail Evidence Test for Fair Work Conditions


CEM REPORT, PRODUCTIVITY | 2022 Fairwork report has revealed that ride-hailing platforms are struggling to make ends meet because of a rise in inflation, increased cost of living, and poor working conditions.

The report which was launched Friday 31 2023, is a collaborative project by the Lagos Business School, Pan-Atlantic University and the University of Oxford



The platforms that were examined were Bolt, Bolt foods, Glovo, Gokada, Jumia Foods, Kwik, Lagos Ride (LagRide), and Uber.

The researchers found that because platforms classify platform workers as independent contractors, they lack basic labour standards such as a provision of social security, safety nets, recourse for grievances, and fair contractual terms.

Of the eight platform businesses, Glovo, with a score of 4 (out of 10) points, came top-scoring platform Nigeria. It is the only platform that provided sufficient evidence of workers earning above the minimum wage of N30,000 a month and above the implied hourly mininum wage of N173.08 after work-related costs.

Some workers are earning below these thresholds due to work-related expenses, high inflation, and differing individual earnings. None of the platforms showed an effective mechanism or policy to ensure they met these thresholds.

According to the report, only Glovo provided evidences for other fairwork scoring which include

Evidence of policies that mitigate against the risk of executing deliveries. These included providing safety gear such as helmets, raincoats and effective SOS buttons. None of the eight platforms could show income security for drivers unable to work because of sickness or non-accident-related reasons.

Evidence of clear and transparent terms and conditions (T&C) that are subject to Nigerian law. “For the second point, we did not receive sufficient evidence that any of the platforms include liability or exclude unfair clauses in their T&Cs”; the report noted.

Evidence of due process for decisions affecting platform workers in the form of effective communication channels and appeals processes. However, there was insufficient evidence that any of the platforms ensured equity in the management process by implementing anti-discrimination policies, removing barriers to underrepresented groups such as women, or other proactive policies

No platform was able to provide sufficient evidence to ensure freedom of association and collective worker voice. “We could not find evidence of any platform recognising an independent collective body of workers or trade unions. As far as we could tell, workers did not have a say in decisions affecting their working conditions nor access to mechanisms facilitating collective bargaining”; the report sataed.

In his comment, Lead researcher Professor Olayinka David-West said: “Our inaugural report scores platform companies in the ride hailing, food delivery and courier services sectors and their treatment of workers across the five Fairwork principles.

“By spotlighting the need for fairness and justice for platform workers, this report will guide policymakers, workers and worker associations, and customers who use these platforms towards improving the rights and working conditions of platform workers.”

[READ ALSO] Fairwork Report Calls for Improved Working Conditions and Safety for Platform Workers in Nigeria

Co-Lead Dr. Kemi Ogunyemi observed that “the location-based platform economy could contribute to achieving the goal of poverty alleviation (SDG 1) in Nigeria if the platforms in this space increase their levels of self-regulation and corporate ethos to bridge equity gaps that are not externally legislated – for example, moving towards ensuring platform workers earn a living wage and have access to protections from exposure to unsafe working conditions.

“We are at the beginning of Fairwork’s interaction with platforms operating in Nigeria and we hope that our engagement with them will enrich the ecosystem for all stakeholders by fostering higher scores on the five Fairwork principles and leading to increased customer support for the platforms.”

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