On-demand delivery major, Swiggy has introduced a policy on Sexual Harassment Redressal for delivery partners. The policy is said to be aligned in spirit with the POSH (Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2013) Act.
This comes at a time when around 5,000 Swiggy delivery partners in Ernakulam, Kerala have gone on an indefinite strike demanding better payouts. The policy covers how sexual harassment can be reported and how it will be investigated and acted upon. A delivery executive’s journey has a few touchpoints where they interact with people — restaurant premise, store premise, Swiggy’s offices and training centers, and customer’s location.
For each touchpoints, the company has setup a mechanism for reporting and investigation of the case. In a sexual harassment case arising due to customers, male counterparts, restaurant partners, and Swiggy employees, the woman delivery executive can reach out to Swiggy’s Emergency SOS number for support. After gettingemergency assistance, should she want Swiggy to conduct an investigation, she can lodge a complaint with Swiggy’s on-ground team.
Should a Swiggy employee be the perpetrator, it becomes a POSH case since the employee is bound to the company. In the case of restaurant partner/consumer/ fellow delivery partner, an initial investigation by an internal committee headed by a woman is followed by guidance on what the delivery executive can do. For instance, what IPC codes are available, support in filing a complaint, and supporting the authorities in their investigation.
“We’re also working on a solution to ensure that if the harassment occurs at a customer’s location, after the initial investigation is done, no other female delivery executive with Swiggy is ever assigned to that customer. The number will be highlighted so that a female executive is not assigned even if the customer changes location. Grievous offenses punishable by law will lead to the removal of customers from the Swiggy platform,” the company said in a statement.
At any point, the woman delivery executive can raise a police complaint against the respondent and this policy doesn’t limit that. Speaking about this policy, Mihir Shah, Head of Operations, Swiggy said, “There is no place for sexual harassment or gender-based misconduct in Swiggy’s delivery universe. Through the sexual harassment redressal policy, we are taking a proactive step in building awareness and accountability among various stakeholders in the community. We believe these efforts will stop incidents from happening and also encourage women delivery executives to recognise and report incidents with the faith that action will be taken. Our goal is to empower women to feel safe on Swiggy’s delivery platform.”
The company is also working on creating awareness among all stakeholders about the policy.