current affairs - 2023-10-31

‘Only three e-com platforms have minimum wage policy’


A 12-e-commerce platform analysis paints a bleak picture of working circumstances for India’s gig workers, with only three of them employing a minimum pay policy.

Policy on Minimum Wage:

  • Only three of the twelve e-commerce platforms investigated had a written policy in place to ensure that gig workers were paid at least the local minimum wage.
  • Bigbasket, Flipkart, and Urban Company were the marketplaces that have this policy.
  • These rules attempted to ensure that workers were paid a wage that met or exceeded the local minimum wage after deducting work-related expenses.

Local living Wage:

  • After taking into account work-related costs, none of the platforms offered sufficient evidence that workers were earning at least the local living wage.
  • This means that the majority of gig workers did not make enough money to pay their basic living expenditures.

Workplace Alienation:

  • The study focused on worker alienation, which is defined as a sense of being alienated or distanced from one’s work.
  • Alienation has been connected to discrimination based on caste, class, gender, and religion.
  • This shows that working conditions on many e-commerce platforms were contributing to gig workers’ sense of alienation.

Anti-Bias Procedures:

  • Only two companies, BluSmart and Swiggy, were determined to have adopted anti-bias and discriminatory procedures on their platforms.
  • These companies conducted external audits regularly to look for biases in their work allocation methods.
  • Furthermore, they have implemented explicit anti-discrimination policies, demonstrating a proactive attitude to addressing these challenges.

Principles of Fair Work:

  • The study evaluated e-commerce platforms using five major principles:
    • Fair Pay: The policies and practices of the platforms on worker compensation and ensuring that workers were paid fairly for their labour.
    • Fair circumstances: Evaluating the working circumstances of gig workers, including their safety, health, and well-being.
    • Fair Contracts: To promote fairness and transparency, the terms of employment and contracts between platforms and gig workers are being scrutinized.
    • Fair Management: Examining how platforms manage and treat their gig workers, with a focus on elements such as workplace respect and dignity.
    • Fair Representation: Examining whether gig workers were represented and had a say in decisions impacting their jobs.
  • These concepts were assessed using worker interviews in four cities and evidence provided by e-commerce platforms.


In summary, the report emphasizes the need for better labour practices and a greater focus on worker welfare in the gig economy. It emphasizes the necessity of ensuring that gig workers have fair pay, better working conditions, transparent contracts, respectful management, and proper representation. Furthermore, tackling prejudice and biases in job allocation is critical to establishing a fair and equitable work environment in India’s e-commerce industry.