Multinational delivery company Glovo (headquartered in Spain) has announced a Couriers Pledge aimed at improving conditions for their self-employed riders. In their pledge, Glovo has committed to ensuring fair conditions for every courier by 2023.
The company recognises that the gig economy represents a significant source of income for couriers and wants to provide equality of access to social rights and benefits for couriers, independent of the way couriers work with the platform.
There are five main elements to the pledge:
- Fairer Earnings – full transparency on wages, couriers’ earnings must be aligned with regional living wages and daily expenses. ‘Loyalty bonus’ paid or exchanged for time-off.
- Insurance Coverage (360º Safety): assistance with different types of accidents, third-party liability and transport of goods, as well as sick leave benefit, maternity and paternity leave and access to a “Family Expense” benefit.
- Safety and Maintenance (360º Safety): road safety kits including helmets and reflective clothing, bike repair & maintenance stations and easily accessible sanitary facilities.
- Proactive Management – open dialogue, drastically improved communication, listening to workers’ collective voice, and easy appeals process when disabled from the app.
- Caring for Couriers – an SOS button in-app in case anyone faces a dangerous situation. Also, Glovo believes couriers should be temporary and easily able to change to other jobs, so they will facilitate this through courses and skills development opportunities.
The pledge will be implemented in all countries where Glovo operates, and they have committed to covering 40% of their fleet by the end of June 2022.
Sacha Michaud, Glovo Co-founder, said:
“By 2023 we expect to be collaborating with around 240,000 couriers on a monthly basis worldwide and we are committed to providing them with better social rights and benefits while also protecting the autonomy and flexibility they value. As a company, we feel this initiative sets a new industry standard for a fairer gig economy — one that has social rights and uses a best practice framework at its core.”
There have been many critics of the gig economy in recent years, particularly in relation to how gig workers are treated, their rights, and the lack of protections. Here at IWORK, we are not convinced that all gig workers are mistreated, indeed we know of numerous such companies that are doing a fantastic job of looking after their workers. However that is certainly not the case across the board, so Glovo’s Courier Pledge is a welcome development.
There needs to be clarity from the gig platforms engaging workers about what is on offer and how workers’ pay is structured, and workers then have the chance to make an informed decision about whether or not it suits them.
Like it or not, the gig economy brings with it innovation combined with the huge potential to modernise how we do things, both of which are key to our post-pandemic recovery. Providing there is transparency and fairness for workers then surely we should harness the opportunities that gig and platform working offers?