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Deliveroo joins World Economic Forum Charter to improve worker opportunities

Deliveroo has announced it is a founding partner in the development of a new World Economic Forum Charter that commits to principles on good platform work.

The Charter of Principles for Good Platform Work provides a series of commitments to improve the opportunities for workers in the platform economy and is in partnership with five other technology platforms.

It was developed to improve the environment for the on-demand workforce in Australia and around the world, according to the company.

Outlining eight primary areas to address, including diversity and inclusion; safety and wellbeing; flexibility and fair conditions; reasonable pay and fees; social protection; learning and development; voice and participation; and data management, the Charter encourages collaboration across industry, government and with platform workers to raise the industry standards.

The Charter specifically focuses on the importance of providing workers with appropriate processes, channels and forums to express their views on platform guidelines and facilitate discussion.

It also encourages a commitment to learning and development opportunities, providing access to education and upskilling programmes.

Deliveroo is investing in different activities including regular Rider Roundtables, free online learning programmes, and initiatives including ‘The Big Pitch’, which enables riders with an interest in starting their own business to pitch their ideas to leading investors. In this way the company ensures it is accessible and open for riders to continuously learn and have a platform to openly discuss issues with the company.

Safety and wellbeing are also key pillars within the Charter which stresses that platforms should have policies or guidelines in place to help protect workers from health and safety risks, and should endeavour to protect and promote the physical and mental wellbeing of workers.

Following the release of the Charter, the World Economic Forum will work with leading platforms to commence engagement with a wider community, including policy-makers and civil society stakeholders, to discuss the practical measures required to support implementation of the principles for good platform work, according to a statement.

Deliveroo has invested in this area, from embedding direct lines of communication between the business and its riders and offering highly-visible reflective safety kits to large-scale initiatives such as Deliveroo Australia’s Rider Safety Advisory Panel, launched in 2019, the company states.

The Panel, which is the country’s first rider-run safety panel established by a food delivery platform, aims to better understand safety concerns and improve the rider experience.

The Panel was cited as an example of good global practice for safety and wellbeing in the new white paper, The Promise of Platform Work: Understanding the Ecosystem.

Deliveroo has argued for an end to the trade-off between security and flexibility which exists in employment law, and providing safe, secure and flexible work is core to Deliveroo’s business model, the company states.

As a founding member of the group of companies to sign up to the Charter, this is the next step in its commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of people engaged in platform work, the company states.

Deliveroo chief executive officer and founder Will Shu, says, “We know that riders want to balance flexibility and security. Riders who choose to work with us tell us that they want the freedom to choose when, where and whether to work, balanced with security.

“Deliveroo was the first platform to give riders free insurance to protect them in case something goes wrong while on the road and we have long argued that changes are needed to enable platforms such as ours to go further to give more benefits to self-employed riders. This Charter is an important piece of work to move that debate forward.”

Deliveroo Australia CEO Ed McManus, says, “Today we partner with over 8,000 riders across Australia. Our riders are at the heart of everything we do.

“As the platform economy grows in popularity with Australians, we are committed to using our leading position to drive conversation and collaboration to raise industry standards. This Charter is a great example of how we can come together to address key issues that directly impact on-demand workers, and shape the future of work.”