Ola mobility report reveals how gig economy workers are surviving coronavirus through social partnerships
Bengaluru-based ride-hailing unicorn Ola's policy research and social innovation think-tank Ola Mobility Institute (OMI) has released a report “Leveraging and Protecting the Gig Economy against COVID-19 - Measures by Gig Economy and Governments around the World.”
The report talks about the different actions the government and platform companies can take in leveraging the gig economy to fight against COVID-19. The report also emphasises the importance of social partnerships.
Speaking about the report, Carson Dalton, Senior Director, Ola Mobility Institute, said in a press statement shared by the company:
“COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis of our time. Under these extraordinary circumstances, gig workers and platform companies are adapting quickly and leveraging their workforce to ensure transportation services, delivery of essential commodities, and medicines are available to the most vulnerable populations. Social partnerships and agility of platform companies are helping people tide over this crisis.”
These partnerships are already visible across different platforms. From ride-hailing platforms to delivery startups, gig workers across sectors are ensuring minimal disruption to public life. The report also highlights the role of governments, platforms companies, and gig workers in providing essential services to the society, crisis management, accelerating recovery, and building resilience.
"The COVID-19 outbreak has put a pause on established healthcare and economic systems in the world, necessitating large-scale economic and financial interventions by governments and businesses to minimise the hardships," says the report.
The report provides an outlook into the fiscal and non-fiscal measures adopted by governments and platform companies around the world, specifically for gig economy workers, due to this global pandemic. It recommends calls for a collective effort to strengthen social partnership with platform companies to fast-track the recovery process from the crisis and build a resilient future.
According to the report, gig workers and platforms must be leveraged to manage the crisis, fast-track recovery, and build resilience. Such collaborations between governments and businesses - 'Social Partnerships’ - are crucial, and are underway.
It added that governments have already recognised the potential of gig workers, and are broadly adopting two non-fiscal strategies:
- It is actively involving different platforms’ technological capability and logistical networks (hands-on approach).
- It is passively facilitating their operations through legal protection (hands-off approach). The agility of businesses implies fewer challenges to staffing their gig workforce, while also providing remunerative opportunities to gig workers.
"To protect gig workers, new economy businesses are strengthening safety measures, adapting to the work environment, providing health access to all, expanding paid leave, and securing their livelihoods. Governments have also announced policy measures - from fiscal and monetary policies such as unemployment benefits, tax relief, and targeted liquidity provisions, to lending and financial support, to minimise the human and economic impact of COVID-19, and particularly protect the gig workers," the report states.
(Edited by Megha Reddy)