GCRF Decent Work: FAIRWORK in the Platform Economy in the Global South

Lead Research Organisation: University of Oxford
Department Name: Oxford Internet Institute

Abstract

There are millions of platform workers who live all over the world, doing work that is outsourced or organised via digital platforms or apps in the gig economy. This work can include jobs as varied as taxi driving using Uber, translation on Upwork, or the training of machine learning algorithms through Amazon's Mechanical Turk.

Despite the potential of such work to give jobs to those who need them, platform workers have little ability to negotiate wages and working conditions with their employers, who are often on the other side of the world. Our previous research has shown that platforms often operate in relatively unregulated ways, and can encourage a race to the bottom in terms of workers' ability to defend existing jobs, liveable wages, and dignified working conditions.

The potentials and risks of platform work touch down starkly in South Africa. A country that, by some measures, has the world's highest income inequality, and 28% unemployment rates. At the same time, the country has relatively well-developed internet infrastructure, and a relatively stable political climate and state/legal institutions. These factors make the country a site in which the platform economy is nascent enough to allow us to co-develop solutions with a multi-disciplinary team from Law and the Social Sciences that will offer tangible opportunities to influence policy and practice surrounding digital work. As other middle- and low-income countries quickly develop their internet infrastructures and millions of more potential digital workers rush online in search of opportunities, the interventions that this project proposes will be of crucial need if we are to avoid some of the 'race to the bottom' that the current world of digital work is bringing into being.

Our project will culminate in two key initiatives. First, building on a work package of legal research, a Code of Practice will be developed to serve as an interpretive tool to outline the ways that existing regulations can be made applicable to platform workers. Second, we will develop a 'Fairwork Foundation.' Much like the Fairtrade Foundation has been able to certify the production chains of commodities like coffee or chocolate, the Fairwork Foundation will certify the production networks of the platform economy, and therefore harness consumer power to significantly contribute to the welfare and job quality of digital workers. This programme of work aims to not just uncover where fair and unfair work takes place, but also seeks to codify that knowledge into both a 'Fairwork certification scheme' and an annual ranking of platforms. These two initiatives will ultimately allow for the development of an international standard for good-quality digital working conditions.

These objectives will be achieved with 5 project stages. First, the Law team will analyse S. African labour laws, social security laws, and other legal and policy regulations relating to the platform economy, and ask how those laws might be adapted to provide decent work standards for digital platform workers. At the same time, the Social Science team will use a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to map the key issues faced by S. African platform workers: developing a rich understanding of how platform work may be failing to live up to decent work standards. Third, we develop meaningful decent work standards for platform work that happens outside of the Global North. Fourth, we take those standards and use them in a process of action research in which we seek to certify the digital work platforms: assigning them a Fairwork certification if they pass. Finally, through an extended process of stakeholder engagement and outreach with workers, platforms, and policy makers, we plan a short-term strategy of pressuring platforms to change their policies to improve working conditions and a longer-term strategy of influencing the direction that regulation takes in a currently highly unregulated sector.

Planned Impact

Workers, customers, platforms, and labour sector organisations are all key beneficiaries. The primary aim of this transformative project is to generate social and economic benefit for some of the millions of workers who perform digital work. Many platform workers in South Africa and elsewhere have little individual or collective bargaining power, and they often lack the protection of existing rules and regulations of other kinds of workers, and existing laws are inconsistently applied. As ever more people come online looking for jobs, the prospects for workers collaborating instead of competing looks bleak.

This project offers viable strategies to change that by providing a route to pressure employers to improve wages and working conditions. It does so by understanding the problems faced by workers, the legal contexts that they face those problems in, developing a Code of Practice and a 'fair work' certification scheme, and ultimately rating platforms against those criteria.

This action-research project will provide demonstrable impact for digital workers, customers, and platforms. Digital workers will benefit, in the first instance, from our legal research that will outline the ways that existing regulations can be made applicable to platform workers. That strand of work will also develop longer-term relationships for policy changes. Second, our certification process provides an important means to address the weak bargaining power that platform workers have by pressuring platforms to meet key minimum standards for the work that they do.

For customers, the project offers easily accessible information about the platform and whether it provides fair pay and conditions to workers. This is analogous to the Fairtrade logo, indicating whether the platform has met standards across the supply chain. For platforms, it provides a way to clearly indicate whether their own practices have achieved the certification for fair work and compare with other operators. The rating system allows platforms to display this to potential clients and customers on their websites, products, and through associated social media campaigns.

We will run annual multi-stakeholder workshops at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) that bring together platforms, workers, unions, and scholars in order to ensure that the rating criteria are constantly adapted to current conditions. The purpose of our funded research will then be to apply the criteria to a selection of platforms. This data will be used to assign a certification to 12 sample platforms, resulting in detailed documentation that will appear on our website and a final report. These meetings, and the outreach of research will benefit other national and international bodies involved with labour policy such as the WTO, the UK Department of Trade and Industry, and international development organisations (e.g. DFID, USAID, GIZ). Furthermore, because this project emerges from an existing GCRF funded network on the "Development Implications of Digital Economies" (DIODE), and will feed back our work into the network in a final workshop (with representatives from development practice in 11 developing countries), our ultimate goal is to allow the Fairwork concept to scale beyond South Africa. Some of the specific details will necessarily need to be tailored to different local contexts (for instance minimum wage rates). However, scaling will still be possible once we both establish core criteria (for instance, the need for minimum wage rates), and best-practices for engaging with multiple stakeholders and running the rating system itself. In the final months of the project, we will work with our DIODE partners and UNI (the global union federation for services that have 900 affiliated unions worldwide), expand the project internationally by promoting use of the Fairwork criteria and logo.
 
Title Five animated videos explaining the Fairwork principles 
Description Fairwork has produced five short animated videos which each centre on a different Fairwork principle, explaining the principle through the perspective of a gig worker. The videos are aimed at predominantly at workers in South Africa, to familiarise them with the Fairwork principles and how they relate to their experience. They are an important component of our outreach with key stakeholders, and are intended to help grow our impact by encouraging platform workers and users to support the Fairwork principles and scoring system. The videos will be released in March 2021 
Type Of Art Film/Video/Animation 
Year Produced 2021 
Impact The videos will be released soon, but have note yet been disseminated. 
 
Description This award allowed us to develop worker-guided and legally-informed principles for fair work in the platform economy. These principles have now been refined over three years of research. They serve as an international benchmark for policymakers, workers, platforms, and consumers, in defining and delineating fair labour standards for digital workers. This in itself is the first major achievement of this project.
These principles have underpinned the developed of a Code of Good Practice for the Regulation of platform work in South Africa. The legal team has analysed the gaps in the current regulatory and enforcement framework in South Africa, which leave platform workers vulnerable and unprotected. This Code was unveiled at the 2020 South African Society for Labour Law conference. We are already seeing the how the Code is contributing to and informing legal discussions and policy dialogue in this area, with a prominent South African law firm suggesting it as a basis for alternative regulation.
In addition to the work of the legal team, the principles have been applied and tested in South Africa by the social science team, through two annual 'scoring rounds' (with a third underway). The project team has developed a robust action-research methodology designed to leverage positive impact for platform workers in line with the principles. Prominent South African platforms have now been through the scoring (/'certification') process to receive a Fairwork score out of 10. These scores are displayed on an annual league table to provide a quick comparative overview of the best and worst practices in the platform economy. Two key high-level findings are notable. First, that there is a spectrum of managerial practices in the South African platform economy; with some platforms unable to evidence fair work standards, and others demonstrating a high level of commitment to fair work standards. This finding shows that it is possible for digital labour platforms to provide decent work opportunities, and that some actively choose not to. By empirically demonstrating this differentiation, we empower workers and platform users to hold platforms to a higher standard, and we incentivise the poorer performing platforms to improve, in order to avoid the reputational and competitive risk of ranking low in the Fairwork league table. Indeed, three platforms have made changes to their operations to better align with the Fairwork principles (changes are detailed in 'research datasets, databases & models' section).Therefore a key finding of this research has been that while most digital labour platforms have done little to take responsibility for the working conditions they preside over, better practice examples do exist, and overall improvement is possible.
Exploitation Route The project's objectives have been met and exceeded. We have secured further funding to support the implementation of the Fairwork scoring system elsewhere, and have now established partnerships with researchers to carry out in scoring in more than 20 countries.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Government, Democracy and Justice,Retail,Transport

URL http://www.fair.work
 
Description As the project has entered its third year, we have started to build our public recognition in South Africa, with regular media coverage. In 2020, we scored 11 platforms operating in South Africa, including both global (e.g. Uber, Bolt), and local platforms (E1a). Of these, six platforms engaged in direct dialogue with us, with three platforms (NoSweat, SweepSouth and GetTOD) subsequently making changes to align with Fairwork principles. These changes-concerning health and safety, grievance reporting, non-discrimination, living wages, and freedom of association-directly impact many thousands of South African workers, improving their security and job quality. Specifically: · The online freelancing platform NoSweat (over 13,000 registered freelancers in South Africa and the Netherlands, E1a), has actively aligned itself with the Fairwork principles, stating "NoSweat fully supports the Fairwork Foundation's initiative" (E1b). In 2019 NoSweat developed a confidential grievance reporting portal, and adopted a contractual requirement for clients to protect workers' health and safety (E1b). Wilfred Greyling, NoSweat's co-founder, attributed this change to the Fairwork Foundation: "Fairwork has helped us formalise those principles and incorporate them into our systems" (E2). In 2020, NoSweat committed to ensuring workers earn above a living wage and stated that they observe the right to free association and accept collective worker representation (E1b). · South African domestic work platform SweepSouth, which provides work for approximately 3,000 cleaners in Cape Town and Johannesburg, committed to develop a formal policy of non-discrimination against workers, after engaging with us in 2020 (E3). This is an important step towards enabling workers to assert their rights and seek formal redress in an industry characterised by geographic, racial, and gender inequities. · South African platform for tradespeople, GetTOD, made changes in 2020 to align with Fairwork principles by committing to paying a living wage, stating that: "We ensure that no service providers earn below the living wage (as defined by Fairwork), and our average compensation far exceeds this" (E4a). They also clarified the disciplinary processes in the contract (E4b). This impact is ongoing, and will continue for many years post-award (supported by the additional funding we have received). In particular, our current efforts to institutionalise the Fairwork Principles, through public commitments from companies that buy gig-labour to consider the Principles when doing so, will further embed the Principles (visibly) in the supplier-buyer ecosystem. Evidence: E1a: Fairwork (2020) Fairwork South Africa Rankings 2020: Labour standards in the gig economy. Cape Town, South Africa and Oxford, United Kingdom. E1b: Webpages - NoSweat (app) a) 'How it Works', https://nosweat.work/client_how_does_freelance_work, b) ''Fairwork Foundation', https://nosweat.work/fairwork_foundation, c) 'Freelancer Grievance'. https://nosweat.work/freelancer_grievance E2: Comment from Wilfred Greyling, co-founder of NoSweat, in OII press release: https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/news/releases/new-rating-system-highlights-best-and-worst-digital-platforms-for-workers-conditions/ E3: Email communication from SweepSouth, 12/03/2020, on file. E4a: GetTOD. 'Fair Pay'. https://www.gettod.com/hero/ E4b: GetTOD. Clause 4.6 of Ts&Cs (PDF on file in platform evidence)
First Year Of Impact 2019
Sector Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software),Government, Democracy and Justice,Retail,Transport
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Building a Fair Digital Work Platform in Kenya
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Building a Fair Digital Work Platform in Kenya
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Citation in legal debate about worker classification in South Africa
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.webberwentzel.com/News/Pages/uber-drivers-in-south-africa-employees-or-independent-contr...
 
Description House of Lords COVID-19 committee
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
URL https://www.parliament.uk/business/lords/media-centre/house-of-lords-media-notices/2021/january-2021...
 
Description Included in the German Government's central digital strategy
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/digital-made-in-de/innovation-und-digitale-transformat...
 
Description Included the UK Future of Work Commission's Flagship report (chaired by Tom Watson MP) as a recommendation
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Citation in other policy documents
URL https://www.tom-watson.com/fow
 
Description South Africa Year 2 Report Launch (forthcoming in March 2020)
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Description South Africa in the Digital Age consultation - public private growth initiative between the private sector and the Presidency
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
 
Description Submission to the Presidential Commission in South Africa
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Gave evidence to a government review
Impact In late 2019, Fairwork made a submission to the Presidential Commission on the Fourth Industrial Revolution in South Africa with recommendations and creating a floor of legally enforceable rights for South African gig workers.
 
Description The Future of work in Africa
Geographic Reach Africa 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact Darcy du Toit has met with Uber in a consultation meeting in March 2019. He presented fairwork and our scores in South Africa and discussed how fairwork standards can be established in ride hailing industry.
 
Description Decent Work Standards in the Platform Economy in the Global South
Amount $74,988 (CAD)
Organisation International Development Research Centre 
Sector Public
Country Canada
Start 01/2020 
End 01/2021
 
Description Fairwork Foundation
Amount € 1,499,963 (EUR)
Funding ID 19.2010.7-004.00 
Organisation German Corporation for International Cooperation GmbH 
Sector Public
Country Germany
Start 11/2019 
End 06/2022
 
Title Cloudwork principles 
Description Based on the initial Fairwork principles developed in consultation with stakeholders, the Fairwork project has now developed principles for online remote working platforms ('cloudwork' platforms). These principles are now being applied to prominent cloudworking platforms and will form the basis of a global cloudwork league table in the future. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The first cloudwork league table has not yet been published. 
URL https://fair.work/en/fw/principles/cloudwork-principles/
 
Title Cloudwork survey 
Description In order to score online remote working (cloudwork) platforms according to the Fairwork methodology, we have developed a worker survey tool. The survey can be administered either on- or off-platform, and allows us to collect data from workers about working conditions and experience on the platform in line with the five Fairwork principles, to contribute to the production of Fairwork scores for those platforms. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2020 
Provided To Others? No  
Impact We have not yet published the Cloudwork league table. It will be published in April 2021. 
 
Title Fairwork Methodology 
Description We have developed a fairwork methodology to assess fair work conditions in platform economy. The method operationalises the five principles of fairwork (1. Fair Pay, 2. Fair Conditions, 3. Fair Contracts, 4. Fair Management and 5. Fair Representation). These principles were developed through an extensive literature review of published research on job quality, stakeholder meetings at UNCTAD and the ILO in Geneva (involving platform operators, policy makers, trade unions, and academics), and in-country stakeholder meetings held in India (Bangalore and Ahmedabad) and South Africa (Cape Town and Johannesburg). Each of the five Principles of Fairwork are converted into one basic point and an additional advanced point in the scoring system. The advanced point can only be achieved if the basic point has also been awarded. The framework therefore allows for a maximum of ten points for the Fairwork Score for each platform listed. Where no verifiable evidence is available that meets the threshold, the platform will not be awarded that point. 
Type Of Material Improvements to research infrastructure 
Year Produced 2018 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact As a result of the development of this tool, we are able to assess and compare fair work conditions globally. We are also able to track how fair work conditions improve or worsen over the years, as we update our scores annually. 
URL https://fair.work/principles/fair-work-scores-methodology/
 
Title Fairwork South Africa platform scores 
Description The Fairwork South Africa project has completed two annual 'scoring cycles' of digital labour platforms in South Africa. Through this action research methodology, we have awarded scores out of 10, to the major digital labour platforms operating in South Africa. These scores are based on desk research, interviews with platform workers, and dialogues with platform management. The scores serve as a resource for platforms, workers, consumers and policymakers to identify best and worst labour practices in the platform economy, and by extension, an incentive for platform companies to improve their labour practices. The scores are available on the Fairwork website, and published in two reports (2019, and 2020). 
Type Of Material Database/Collection of data 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact The collation and publication of the Fairwork scores has directly incentivised platform companies in South Africa to implement changes to improve their labour practices. In 2020, Fairwork scored 11 platforms operating in South Africa against the five Fairwork principles, including both global (e.g. Uber, Bolt), and local platforms. As part of this process, six platforms engaged in direct dialogue with Fairwork researchers, with three platforms (NoSweat, SweepSouth and GetTOD) subsequently making changes to align with Fairwork principles. These changes-concerning health and safety, grievance reporting, non-discrimination, living wages, and freedom of association-directly impact many thousands of South African workers, improving their security and job quality. Specifically: • The online freelancing platform NoSweat (with over 13,000 registered freelancers in South Africa and the Netherlands) has actively aligned itself with the Fairwork principles, stating that "NoSweat fully supports the Fairwork Foundation's initiative". In 2019 NoSweat developed a confidential grievance reporting portal, and adopted a contractual requirement for clients to protect workers' health and safety. This contractual requirement is an interactive online form with up to 16 questions that companies working with NoSweat must agree to before hiring NoSweat freelance workers. They cover working hours including how overtime needs to be managed, as well ensuring that freelancers working below a threshold of 45 Rand or less before PAYE ('below-threshold workers') who work more than 5 days a week, are not forced to work more than 8 hours per day. They state that workers must have an hour's break after 5 hours of work, and that 'below-threshold' workers are paid overtime at a rate of 1.5, or double on Sundays, and ensure employers are protected from injury or disease in their workplaces. Wilfred Greyling, NoSweat's co-founder, attributed this change to the Fairwork Foundation: Fairwork has helped us formalise those principles and incorporate them into our systems". In 2020, NoSweat publicly stated that they observe the right to free association and accept collective worker representation. • South African domestic work platform SweepSouth, which provides work for approximately 3,000 cleaners in Cape Town and Johannesburg. SweepSouth had been in touch with Fairwork when their score was lower than they hoped for. Following guidance from the Fairwork team, it was clear that in order to achieve a higher score, they needed to commit to meeting Fairwork principle 4.2, which includes whether: 'It [the platform] has a policy which guarantees that the platform will not discriminate against persons on the grounds of race, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, religion or belief, age or any other status which is protected against discrimination in local law'. Following discussions with the the Fairwork team, SweepSouth committed in 2020 to develop a formal policy of non-discrimination against workers. This is an important step towards enabling workers to assert their rights and seek formal redress in an industry characterised by geographic, racial, and gender inequities. • South African platform for tradespeople, GetTOD, made changes in 2020 to align with Fairwork principles by committing to paying a living wage, stating that: "We ensure that no service providers earn below the living wage (as defined by Fairwork), and our average compensation far exceeds this". They also clarified the disciplinary processes in the contract. 
URL https://fair.work/en/ratings/south-africa/
 
Description Fairwork Argentina - CIPPEC 
Organisation Center for the Implementation of Public Policies Promoting Equity and Growth (CIPPEC)
Country Argentina 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Argentina research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Argentina research
Impact Report forthcoming in the coming year
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Austria - TU Wien 
Organisation Vienna University of Technology
Country Austria 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Austria research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Austria research
Impact Report forthcoming in coming year
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Bangladesh - iSocial 
Organisation Infolady Social Enterprise Ltd (iSocial)
Country Bangladesh 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Bangladesh research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Bangladesh research
Impact No outputs yet
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Belgium - KU Leuven 
Organisation University of Leuven
Country Belgium 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Belgium research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Belgium research
Impact Report forthcoming in the coming year
Start Year 2021
 
Description Fairwork Brazil - Unisinos University 
Organisation Unisinos University
Country Brazil 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Brazil research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Brazil research
Impact Report forthcoming in coming year
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Chile - UAI-Chile 
Organisation Adolfo Ibáñez University
Country Chile 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Chile research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Chile research
Impact Report forthcoming in March/April 2021
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Colombia - University of Rosario 
Organisation Del Rosario University
Country Colombia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Colombia research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Colombia research
Impact Report to be published in coming year
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Ecuador - FLACSO Ecuador 
Organisation Facultad Latinoamericana de Ciencias Sociales
Country Argentina 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Ecuador research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Ecuador research
Impact Report to be published in March/April 2021
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Egypt - American University of Cairo 
Organisation American University in Cairo
Country Egypt 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Egypt research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Egypt research
Impact Report will be published in the next year
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Ghana - University of Ghana Business School 
Organisation University of Ghana
Country Ghana 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Ghana research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Ghana research
Impact Report forthcoming in coming year
Start Year 2021
 
Description Fairwork Hong Kong - Chinese University of Hong Kong 
Organisation Chinese University of Hong Kong
Country Hong Kong 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Hong Kong research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Hong Kong research
Impact Report forthcoming in coming year
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Indonesia - Universitas Gadjah Mada 
Organisation Gadjah Mada University
Country Indonesia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Indonesia research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Indonesia research
Impact Report will be published in the next year
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Indonesia - Universitas Gadjah Mada 
Organisation Gadjah Mada University
Country Indonesia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Indonesia research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Indonesia research
Impact Report will be published in the next year
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Kenya - Qhala 
Organisation Qhala
Country Kenya 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Kenya research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Kenya research
Impact Report forthcoming in coming year
Start Year 2021
 
Description Fairwork Pakistan - Centre for Labour Research 
Organisation Centre for Labour Research
Country Pakistan 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Pakistan research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Pakistan research
Impact No outputs yet
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork Philippines - De La Salle University 
Organisation De La Salle University
Country Philippines 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Philippines research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Philippines research
Impact Report forthcoming in coming year
Start Year 2021
 
Description Fairwork Serbia - Public Policy Research Centre 
Organisation Public Policy Research Centre
Country India 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork Serbia research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork Serbia research
Impact Report will be released in the coming year
Start Year 2020
 
Description Fairwork USA - U. California-Hastings 
Organisation University of California Hastings College of the Law
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork USA research
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork USA research
Impact Report forthcoming in coming year
Start Year 2021
 
Description IIIT Bangalore 
Organisation International Institute of Information Technology
Country India 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Fairwork India research partner
Collaborator Contribution IIITB is carrying out Fairwork research and scoring in India
Impact Fairwork India scores, 2019 and 2020.
Start Year 2019
 
Description Tech U Berlin 
Organisation Technical University Berlin
Country Germany 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Support with Fairwork research in Germany
Collaborator Contribution Fairwork research in Germany
Impact Fairwork Germany reports, 2019, 2020
Start Year 2019
 
Title Fairwork logo 
Description At the moment, we are in the process of trademarking our Fairwork logo in order to protect the intellectual property of our project. 
IP Reference  
Protection Trade Mark
Year Protection Granted
Licensed No
Impact As a result of trademarking our logo, we will be able to work towards developing our certification scheme. Once our logo is protected, we will be able to ensure that it is not copied, distributed or disseminated without consent and only certified platforms can use our logo. This will also ensure that across our publications, only verified fairwork publications will be able to carry our logo.
 
Description The 1st International Convention of App-Based Transport Workers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This event was the first International Convention of App-Based Transport Workers. Drivers were invited from 23 countries, spanning 6 different continents bringing in existing networks & unions represented countries include Brazil, Canada, Indonesia, France, Nigeria & Australia. We have engaged with the drivers and presented our ongoing work in platform economy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL http://iaatw.org/
 
Description 2021 World Day of Social Justice/Launch of ILO WESO report 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Dr Kelle Howson appeared on a panel during an event co-hosted by the International Labour Organisation, and the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan to the United Nations. The event was to mark the launch of the ILO WESO report as well as the world day of social justice. Kelle answered questions about how Fairwork findings can contribute to global policy dialogues.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description A Living Wage for South African Platform Workers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog about establishing living wage for South African Platform workers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://fair.work/a-living-wage-for-south-african-platform-workers/
 
Description BBC Newshour Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact BBC Newshour interview - Dr Kelle Howson - on potential impacts of UK Supreme Court ruling against Uber, on other sectors of the gig economy and other countries
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/w172x2z6d459wh2
 
Description Cape Talk interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Kelle Howson gave radio interview folloing launch of Fairwork South Africa 2020 report - to publicise findings, and discuss the impact of COVID-19 on gig workers
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.capetalk.co.za/podcasts/127/lunch-with-pippa-hudson/299186/impact-of-covid-19-of-the-gig...
 
Description Digitalisation and the World of Work(ers) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Professor Darcy du Toit participated in this webinar hosted by the University of the Witswatersrand on 5 November 2020
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Fair Work for Platform Workers: New Directions' at the 'Employment Status in the Gig Economy: Courts and Legislation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact S. Fredman: 'Fair Work for Platform Workers: New Directions' at the 'Employment Status in the Gig Economy: Courts and Legislation' (University of Bristol Centre for Law at Work Exploratory Workshop Friday 5th April 2019)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Goodbye Clickworker - Hello Robot? The Future of Work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Mungai, P. "Goodbye Clickworker - Hello Robot? The Future of Work", re:publica: The Most Inspiring Festival for the DIGITAL SOCIETY in Accra, Ghana. (14-15 December 2018)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description House of Lords oral evidence 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Dr Kelle Howson served as an expert witness for a meeting of the UK House of Lords COVID-9 committee, to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the future of work.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
URL https://www.parliament.uk/business/lords/media-centre/house-of-lords-media-notices/2021/january-2021...
 
Description IFIP JWC Conference on "Future of Digital Work" 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Professor Richard Heeks presented two papers at the IFIP JWC conference, entitled 'Differentiators of decent work in the gig economy'; and 'In/formalisation or employment and the gig economy in the global South' on 11 December 2020
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Labour geography working group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Dr Kelle Howson gave a keynote presentation to a European working group of labour geographers, entitled 'Essential yet expendable, the heightened risks of gig work in the pandemic.'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description Mindeststandards für faire Platformarbeit 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Introduction of standards for platform employment in German, published on our website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://fair.work/mindeststandards-fur-faire-plattformarbeit/
 
Description NEDLAC Organised Labour School 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Professor Darcy du Toit gave a presentation to the NEDLAC Organised Labour School, entitled 'The extension of labour law to informal and platform workers', on 1 February 2021
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description New Scores for South Africa Released! 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We have announced the publication of South Africa Scores in a blog on our website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://fair.work/new-scores-for-south-africa-released/
 
Description New rating system highlights best and worst digital platforms for workers' conditions 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog about our principles and methodology for assessing fair work in platform work, published on our project website.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://fair.work/new-rating-system-highlights-best-and-worst-digital-platforms-for-workers-conditio...
 
Description One small step towards decent work for Uber workers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact We have published a blog explaining the recent changes for Uber workers as a result of Uber v Aslam case decided in December 2018, at the UK Court of Appeal.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
URL https://fair.work/one-small-step-towards-decent-work-for-uber-workers/
 
Description Platform policies: The growth of indecent work in SA 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Newspaper article in a major South African daily about platform policies in South Africa.
This article was also re-published by MSN Money afterwards on 6 March 2020https://www.msn.com/en-za/money/personalfinance/platform-policies-the-growth-of-indecent-work-in-sa/ar-BB10N8nl?li=BBqfZdL&ocid=wispr
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-03-05-platform-policies-the-growth-of-indecent-work-in-...
 
Description SASLAW panel discussion 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Profs Darcy Du Toit and Sandra Fredman unveiled Fairwork's 'Code of Good Practice for the Regulation of Platform Work in South Africa' at the South African Society for Labour Law conference in 2020, during a panel discussion entitled 'Thinking out of the Box: Regulating Fairwork for Platform Workers in Law and Practice'.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.saslaw.org.za/index.php/conference-programme
 
Description South Africa Stakeholder Meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact We hosted a two-day workshop for the Fairwork project in November 2019 in South Africa, bringing together platforms, workers and policy makers. These meetings were held to discuss Fairwork's ongoing work in South Africa.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description South Africa in the Digital Age project 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participation by Kelle Howson in workshop hosted by Mandela Institute and Genesis Analytics to provide recommendations to the South Africa in the Digital Age (SADA) project, part of the Public Private Growth Initiative between the private sector and the Presidency. The purpose of the workshop was to identify priority regulation areas on the topic of digital economy.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description The Fairwork Foundation: #LabourBehindTheApp 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Graham, M. "The Fairwork Foundation: #LabourBehindTheApp" Platform Coops Unplugged Conference, organised by Platform Cooperativism Consortium (8 November 2019)

As a result of our engagement at the Conference, we have received several invitations to present our work and we have also received expression of interest for partnerships.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description The Fairwork Foundation: Ensuring fairness in the gig economy 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact "The Fairwork Foundation: Ensuring fairness in the gig economy" Mozfest (26 October 2019)

Workshop and Talk at Mozfest London in 2019, introducing fairwork principles and inviting the audience to debate them. The event sparked wide interest in the topic of fair work in platform economy and we received several invitations to present our work afterwards.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description The Fairwork Foundation: Strategies for improving platform work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Katta, S. "The Fairwork Foundation: Strategies for improving platform work" IDES: Intercultural Digital Ethics Symposium, Oxford, the UK (10 December 2019)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description The Fairwork Foundation: Strategies for improving platform work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact Presentation of our ongoing work at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs in Germany.

Katta, S. "The Fairwork Foundation: Strategies for improving platform work". Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) (20 January 2020)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description The Fairwork Foundation: Strategies for improving platform work 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact Howson, K. "The Fairwork Foundation: Strategies for improving platform work" Digital Kontrovers Conference, Berlin, Germany.(9 December 2019)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Thompson Reuters Interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Kelle Howson gave and interview to journalists from Thompson Reuters writing an article on Uber Eats' labour practices in South Africa
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
 
Description UK ethical consumer week 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Third sector organisations
Results and Impact Prof Richard Heeks gave a presentation at the UK Ethical Consumer Week, entitled: The Fairwork Foundation: Fair work in the gig economy
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.ethicalconsumerweek.com/programme
 
Description Uber and Deliveroo's 'charter of good work' is nothing but fairwashing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact We have published a newspaper article on OpenDemocracy responding to the recent charter of Good Work, undersigned by major platforms at the World Economic Forum. Our response gathered wide reaction, and our piece was re-published several times by other outlets, including a translated version in Portuguese published by a major daily in Brazil.
See some examples below:
1. Published in OII blog https://www.oii.ox.ac.uk/blog/uber-and-deliveroos-charter-of-good-work-is-nothing-but-fairwashing/ 3 February 2020
2. Re-published by Brave New Europe https://braveneweurope.com/srujana-katta-kelle-howson-funda-ustek-spilda-mark-graham-uber-and-deliveroos-charter-of-good-work-is-nothing-but-fairwashing 3 February 2020
3. Also re-published in CartaCapital (Portugese) https://politike.cartacapital.com.br/o-lobo-cuida-do-galinheiro/ 17 February 2020
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.opendemocracy.net/en/oureconomy/uber-and-deliveroos-charter-of-good-work-is-nothing-but-...
 
Description Why you should start talking to your Uber driver 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Newspaper article published in a major South African daily about the working conditions of platform workers in South Africa
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-03-01-why-you-should-start-talking-to-your-uber-driver/
 
Description eNCA television news interview 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Kelle Howson appeared on South Africa's eNCA evening news to give a live interview concerning the impact of COVID-19 on gig workers.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://twitter.com/eNCA/status/1240326496398516226