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Fairwork and stakeholders call for government policy on contracts for gig economy workers

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A stakeholders workshop organized by the Fairwork Ghana project is asking government to fashion policy on issues relating to contracts, representation, conditions and management.

In a press release copied to Ghana Business News, Fairwork Ghana says the stakeholders came to the conclusion that there is a need for a comprehensive inter-agency engagement, i.e. platforms, workers, government-related and allied agencies (labour, transport, policy, etc.), researchers, lawyers, and civil society.

And expressed the hope that all parties in the platform economy would engage each other symbiotically to share and implement initiatives that would benefit all sides and remove perceived exploitation.

They also added that policy from the government should be instructive on issues relating contracts, representation, conditions and management.

“Government should be up to speed in understanding and releasing workable regulations on the current unfavourable bias in working conditions,” the stakeholders said.

They further called for the need to ensure conditions of safety and means to address issues of insecurity.

“Workers’ lives are at risk, and they need a mechanism to reach out for help when in need. Also, all parties on platforms should be readily identifiable by other platform members. Safety conditions should also be gender-sensitive and consider women’s peculiar security needs, especially concerning harassment and discrimination,” they said.

The Fairwork Ghana project, according to the release, evaluates the working conditions of digital labour platforms against five global principles of Fairwork, including fair pay, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management, and fair representation. Platforms operating in Ghana (e.g. Uber, Bolt, Bolt Food, Yango, Black Ride, Swift Wheel, IFerch, Eziban, Jumia Food and Glovo) are scored against all five principles to assess whether they provide basic labour standards like minimum wage or protection against accidents.

The gig economy in Ghana has seen rapid growth. However, gig workers have recently agitated against their platform employers about their low wages.

The stakeholders’ workshop deliberations were therefore, towards policies and actions to ensure that gig workers earn fair wages from platform work.

The workshop, attended by gig platforms, gig workers, and various experts and representatives from government institutions, continues a national conversation on how to improve the overall working conditions of gig workers while harnessing the potential of platforms to create decent jobs, the release added.

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