This article is authored by Alain Dehaze, CEO of the Adecco Group.
Over the last 15 years, the ongoing globalisation and digitalisation of many industries have contributed to a proliferation of digital platforms of all kind, with instant delivery platforms in particular. The rise in number of both delivery platforms and affiliated workers has created a need to regulate the relationship between them.
In our new whitepaper, we analyse the delivery platforms’ business ecosystem through the lens of working conditions, offering recommendations to platforms as well as policy makers to help promote a responsible, flexible model that creates a fairer relationship between delivery platforms and affiliated workers. These are based on a wide series of interviews with representatives from platforms, unions, as well as policy makers. Below, read some of our key takeaways.
A young and growing industry
How many times have you ordered a quick meal from Uber Eats or your local instant delivery platform? Platforms like Deliveroo or Just Eat have popped up in growing numbers in recent years, especially during the pandemic, acting as intermediaries between the customer; a supplier such as a restaurant or other merchant; and the delivery worker affiliated with the platform (whom we’ll often refer to as a “rider”). The platform charges a commission to connect the three parties. Operating margins are thin in this world, often resulting in lower profits for merchants and less disposable income for delivery workers.
For platform workers, the most commonly cited benefits of this gig work are flexible hours, low barriers to entry, and easy access to income and work experience. As it turns out, though, the work is often unpredictable and the earnings heavily dependent on parameters set by the platform. As independent contractors, workers also typically lack the social benefits and protections that accompany direct employment.