The median education level of food delivery partners is class XII, which is higher than the majority of urban workers, according to a report titled ‘Socio-economic Impact Assessment of Food Delivery Platform Workers’. The report was launched by The National Institute of Applied Economic Research (NCAER), a leading economic policy think tank, here on Monday.
While lauding the report on platform workers, the Dr. Bornali Bhandari, Professor, NCAER noted, “In an era characterised by significant economic change, the socio-economic impact assessment of food delivery platforms is vital for policy formulation and informed decision-making. As this sector evolves globally, this study will enrich both the existing literature and policy framework in India.”
The report uncovered facets of employment generation for young workers below age 35. Almost 70 percent of respondents were non-migrants, working within their hometowns in tier 2 and 3 cities, as per the findings.
A majority of workers had short term contracts. The research revealed that the needle is slightly moving towards the formalization of employment. Accident insurance and task-based written contracts exemplify it, according to the study.
Skill development in the form of training opportunities have also surfaced due to the vital role of food delivery platforms, as per the report.
According to the report, as many as 65% of the employees who opted to work long hours said they made more money or the same amount as they did at their prior jobs. But over time, actual incomes have declined as a result of things like inflation and rising fuel prices, among others. Platform job earnings make up 45% of the entire pay of employees who choose shorter work shifts.
67.7% of survey respondents said that they had joined the platform because of higher/additional incomes. In a comparison made between food delivery workers and urban workers.
The study found that incentives like passive income and freedom to work has pushed students to become food delivery partners.
SOCIAL SAFETY NET
In a survey done for the study, it was found out that 9 per cent of workers joined the sector due to unemployment, thus indicating that food delivery platforms have emerged as a tool for social protection and employment.
The report emphasised the need for a multi-faceted approach to address the challenges faced by food delivery platform workers. It stressed the need to preserve the accessibility and convenience that platform work offers. Another crucial policy suggestion was to enhance social security support for platform workers, especially in view of the hybrid nature of their employment.
It advocated the formal recognition of the skills acquired by platform workers through partnerships with the National Skills Development Corporation (NSDC). This move would significantly enhance the employability and career progression prospects of platform workers, it said.
(By Aditi Kashyap and Nameera Anjum, who are interns at BusinessLine)