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The Fairwork Project has called on South African companies to pledge their support for fair labour practices in the gig economy.
Announced on 30 August, the call comes a few months after the project published its third round of yearly ratings for digital platforms in the country.
“We call on organisations to contribute to a fairer future of platform work, demonstrate this support to the wider public, and create meaningful change.”
The report highlighted challenges faced by gig workers and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy.
“By launching this pledge, our goal is to create a public support system of organisations who are willing to hold gig work platforms to a standard that ensures fair labour practices,” Researcher and report co-author, Pitso Tsibolane, said in a statement.
Tsibolane referred to Bloomberg’s recent reporting that South Africa had the highest unemployment rate (34.4%) of 82 countries it monitors.
“This is a scary statistic, and desperation for employment can lead to an acceptance of unfair working conditions,” he said.
The Fairwork Project is based at the Oxford Internet Institute and the WZB Berlin Social Science Centre. It operates in 20 countries across five continents.
The project aims to evaluate work conditions of digital platforms and rank them based on fair work principles. It also works with workers, platforms, advocates, and policymakers to improve conditions.
Fairwork Project wants companies to pledge support
Companies can demonstrate their support to the Fairwork Pledge through a two-tier system of engagement.
They can choose to publicly endorse the Pledge by putting a statement on their website.
Fairwork will provide resources to companies’ staff members to help them engage on platforms. The resources include the Fairwork Principles and the most recent ratings in their areas of operation.
Companies can also choose to become a Fairwork partner. To do so, they must endorse the Pledge and make a meaningful commitment to support fair platform work.
In return, Fairwork will list the company as a partner on its website and feature them on social media channels.
“We call on organisations to contribute to a fairer future of platform work, demonstrate this support to the wider public, and create meaningful change,” Tsibolane said.
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