As part of efforts to improve the working conditions of workers on digital labour platforms in the country, Fairwork Ghana has held a workshop for stakeholders within the ecosystem.
This follows recent agitations by gig workers against their platform employers about their low wages among others, despite the fact that Ghana has witnessed a rapid growth of the platform economy, and its associated employment opportunities.
The Fairwork Ghana project 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.
A statement issued by Fairwork notes that this year’s stakeholders’ workshop deliberations were towards policies and actions that would ensure that gig workers earn fair wages from platform work.
The workshop was 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 Fairwork Ghana project is supported by ‘Invest for Jobs’ of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Invest for Jobs is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH among others.
The salient takeaways from this year’s stakeholder workshop hinge on three main issues.
• Comprehensive inter-agency engagement i.e. platforms, workers, government-related and allied agencies (labour, transport, policy etcetera), researchers, labour lawyers, and civil society. We 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.
• Policy from 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.
• 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 take into account women’s peculiar security needs especially concerning harassment and discrimination.
The Fairwork Ghana Project is hosted by the University of Ghana’s Business School and implemented in collaboration with the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) and the University of Witswatersrand, South Africa.