Companies

Swiggy introduces two-day paid period time-off for female delivery partners

Yatti Soni Bengaluru | Updated on October 20, 2021

FILE PHOTO   -  The Hindu

They will be paid ₹600, calculated on the minimum pay basis

Food delivery major, Swiggy has introduced two-day monthly paid period time-off policy for female delivery partners. They will be paid ₹600, calculated on the minimum pay basis.

Further, the company is working with electric mobility partners to facilitate electric two-wheelers on rent for female delivery partners and increase access to personal motor vehicles for them.

Better policies

Swiggy has about 1,000 female delivery partners in its fleet and hopes to increase their participation by bringing in such policies. The company is also working with restaurants to let its delivery partners access restrooms across cities.

This has already been started by the company with restaurant partners in Cochin, a few months back. The company is now expanding this to other large cities and has also partnered with Shell to provide delivery partners access to restrooms across all their petrol stations in the country.

Earlier to ensure the safety of delivery partners, the company had implemented measures like capping delivery hours at 6 pm for delivery partners. However, the company realised that this move limited true inclusivity, while also restricting female partners from delivering during one of the most lucrative slots – the dinner peak.

“We’re changing that by bettering our security processes. Starting with Bangalore where we have the highest number of women delivery partners, we’re opening up dinner slot deliveries. It will be extended to other cities after we complete training our partners there,” Mihir Shah, Head of operations at Swiggy, noted in a company blog.

Virtual safety training modules

The company has set up virtual safety training modules that cover situational training, Swiggy SOS-emergency support usage guidelines, and important safety do’s and don’ts. The company is also giving both female and male delivery partners the option to decline deliveries if they deem an area to be unsafe, without asking any questions or putting disincentives.

The company claims that an NPS survey done at the end of September highlighted a 23-point jump in satisfaction among our women delivery partners from six weeks ago. Swiggy’s competitor Zomato has also announced a framework to increase women’s participation in the company’s delivery fleet from 0.5 per cent to 10 per cent by the end of 2021, among other initiatives.

Fair management principle

Setting up a plan to identify and remove barriers to access for people from disadvantaged groups, such as women, was one of the points under fair management principle of Fairwork India’s rating system. However, how well these policies are implemented by these companies, is yet to be ascertained.

Fairwork India Project is an Oxford University entity that tracks work conditions of the platform economy internationally. The organisation had scored Zomato and Swiggy low on the five gig work principles (fair pay, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management, and fair representation) in its 2020 report on labour standards in the platform economy.

In the past few months, gig worker unions and anonymous Twitter accounts have intensified the demand for better working conditions and payouts for delivery partners. In September, Indian Federation of App-based Transport workers (IFAT) has also filed a public interest litigation in the Supreme Court of India demanding social security benefits for app-based transport and delivery workers.

Published on October 20, 2021

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