Corporates Urged To Join The Pledge To Support Fair Working Conditions Across South Africa’s Gig Economy

Earlier this year the Fairwork Project launched its third round of yearly ratings for digital platforms in South Africa. The report highlighted the precarious nature of work in the gig economy, with a specific focus on how this has been amplified by the COVID-19 Pandemic. 

Now, Fairwork is looking to engage with organisations across the country in order to gain further support. The call is going out to corporations that are both current users of platform labour and the gig economy, as well as potential users, offering them the chance to demonstrate their public commitment to fairer platform work.

There are multiple ways to pledge support. Universities, schools, businesses, and charities can make a difference by pledging their support for the best labour practices. 

Local governments and administrations can support fairer platform work by introducing meaningful regulation that encourages minimum standards for platforms operating in their areas, or which are eligible for public funding. 

Socially responsible investors or rating agencies, meanwhile, can help improve the working conditions of gig workers by making sure that they, or their clients, invest only in those platforms that offer better labour standards.

“Bloomberg recently announced that South African has the highest unemployment rate in the world, out of its rating of the 82 countries it monitors. This is a scary statistic, and desperation for employment can lead to an acceptance of unfair working conditions. 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,”says Pitso Tsibolane, researcher and one of the Fairwork Project report’s authors.

Fairwork is offering a two-tier system of engagement. 

Tier 1: Become a Fairwork Supporter 

Corporations can publicly endorse the Fairwork Pledge by putting out a statement on their website, including the Fairwork logo and a link to their website. Fairwork resources can also be made available to staff members, in order to help them decide which platforms to engage with. This includes the Fairwork principles, and the most recent Fairwork ratings in the companies areas of operation. 

In turn, Fairwork will list the organisation as a supporter on their website and share the endorsement on social media. 

Tier 2: Become a Fairwork Partner 

Corporations can endorse the Fairwork Pledge by putting out a statement on their website, including the Fairwork logo and a link to their website. They can alslo Fairwork resources available to staff members, in order to help them decide which platforms to engage with. This includes the Fairwork principles, and the most recent Fairwork ratings in the companies areas of operation. 

In addition, they can make a meaningful commitment to support fair platform work through the organisation’s activities. 

In turn, Fairwork will list the organization as a partner on their website including a paragraph about the partnership and the commitment that has been made. They will also feature the partnership on their social media channels, and include the company logo in reports relevant to the organization’s area operation. Lastly, the organisation will be granted use of the Fairwork Partner badge in branding and promotional materials.

“We call on organisations to contribute to a fairer future of platform work, demonstrate this support to the wider public, and create meaningful change,” finishes Tsibolane.

To sign up to join the Fairwork Pledge visit https://fair.work/en/fw/join-the-pledge-together-for-platform-work/#continue

To view the report Fairwork South Africa Ratings 2021: Labour Standards in the Gig Economy, please visit https://fair.work/wp-content/uploads/sites/131/2021/07/Fairwork-South-Africa-2021-report.pdf

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