No living wage for some digital platforms workers in Ghana

Digital Banking 1 A lot of trading goes on online | File photo

Mon, 6 Jun 2022 Source: gbcghanaonline.com

Nine out of ten digital platform workers earned above the minimum wage. However, no digital platform worker earned a living wage. This was contained in a data collected by Fair Work in 2021 where it evaluated ten most popular digital platforms including Uber, Bolt, Yango, Jumia food and Glovo.

They were evaluated on critical issues such as pay, working conditions and representation of workers, on these digital platforms.

At a workshop in Accra, panelists brought to the fore the need for policy makers to pay critical attention to this sector as it is contributing immensely to the economy.

The digital platform economy in Ghana has seen an exponential growth in recent years with companies like Uber, Bolt and Black Ride in the ride-hailing space, and Jumia Food and Glovo in the delivery subsector.

Apart from contributing to reducing unemployment many rely on the services of these digital platforms for their livelihoods. However, this rapid growth has also raised questions about the quality of work that these digital platforms provide.

To this end Fair Work an international research project that evaluates working conditions of digital labour platforms aims to assist workers, consumers, and regulators in this sector with the hope of building a fairer future of work for them.

The 2021 report presented the first set of Fairwork platform ratings for Ghana. Ten digital labour platforms—Black Ride, Eziban, Glovo, iFerch, Swift- Wheels, Bolt, Bolt Food, Jumia Food, Uber and Yango—were assessed on the basis of the Fairwork principles.

No living wage for some Digital Platforms Workers in Ghana

These principles include Fair Pay,Fair Conditions,Fair Contract,Fair management and Fair representation. On evaluation based on Fair Pay it was revealed that workers on nine of the ten platforms earned the minimum wage after accounting for costs which is 12 cedis 53 pesewas a day.

On Fair Conditions, there was evidence that five of the platforms were able to take action to protect workers from risks that arise on their jobs. However it was found that there was unsafe and dangerous working conditions for most of the workers on these platforms.

This Fairwork recommended that it is an area that needs urgent attention. On Fair Management, only five platforms were able to give evidence that they provided due process for workers to communicate and channel grievances.

Country Manager for Fairwork Ghana, Dr Joseph Budu said “based on conditions of fair pay, irrespective of the payment classification of the workers, it is expected that they will earn a decent income.”

In the reports launched last year, it was noticed that, “nine out of ten platform workers earned above the miimum wage but, no platform worker earned a living wage”, he said.

Mr Kwabena Offei Addo with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission said there should be a review of compensation packages by the various Apps of these workers taking into consideration the number of hours and the tools used.

“It’s been realised that the drivers are being compensated for the services they provide on the platforms and not actually for the tools that they use in the provision of their sevices. he noted”.

If the cost of the things they use as part of the services provided is taken into consideration, their wages would have been increased. Mr Offei Addo stressed.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Employment and Labour says it is paying attention to this new sector. Dr Lawrence Simpi who is with the Ministry said

compilation of data on these platforms is in coming soon.He however did not give timelines when the compilation will be completed and data made available.

“The Ministry of Employmet and Labour have been tasked to do some data collection on the platforms on what they do and how it is beig organised…he said.

Dr Simpi however noted that it is difficult to engage the platform workers because they are not well orgaised.

It is the hope of Fair work to bring decency into working conditions for digital workers and in the long run shape policies on labour.

Source: gbcghanaonline.com
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