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Gig Study: Summary and Recommendations

June, 2020

‘Gig economy’ refers to labour markets characterised by independent contracting which happens through digital platforms. Since 2010, the gig economy has received much popularity and academic attention to study its extraordinary rate of growth and also to comprehend how the gig economy is impacting the participation of people. Available literature suggests that since gig workers do not have any standard employee contract, and also have limited or no access to labour protection/social protection, it exposes them to a number of challenges, such as failing to maintain regular income and facing a poor working environment. Besides, gig workers are unable to unionise and have low bargaining power, which makes them more vulnerable in the long run. While women are increasingly participating in the gig economy, however, new opportunities have been highly gendered. IWWAGE undertook a primary study of women service providers of Urban Company (a leading service platform of India), who are concentrated in the beauty and wellness segment. The overarching objective of the study was to investigate: these workers’ experiences, and the constraints they face, including issues of security, flexibility, labour processes and pay/conditions, and to assess the impact on women’s empowerment and agency. We adopted a threefold approach for doing this. We interviewed workers, who were approached through the platform directly. We interviewed platform managers for evidence. And we also interviewed domain experts, to gain insights into similar forms of platform work.

Resource Type Learning note

Topics Gender, childcare, SHGs, digitisation ,