Platforms and digital applications to facilitate our daily lives, and allow us to do things that are unthinkable there are few: rent your accommodation in one click during the holidays, buy and sell used items directly from your phone, delivery of dishes from hundreds of restaurants almost without having to look for it… But the explosion of digital services should not be done without thinking about the working conditions and ethics of the platforms, which are further enriched by this new way of eating. What are the working conditions of couriers and drivers on which is based the economic model of these companies? The national Council of digital (CNnum) published 15 recommendations for the workers of the digital could also have the good conditions, coupled with a “digiscore”, which could promote the applications and platforms that are more human.
The workers of the applications are invisible
The precariousness of the conditions of working within digital platforms is increasingly evident, particularly since the crisis of the sars Coronavirus, during which the consumers in confinement were dependent on delivery men, exposed to risk of contamination and without the benefit of necessary protections. The worker of digital platforms is often a victim of this “uberisation” of the work, which circumvent the rules of protection of employees. According to a survey conducted by Eckhard Voss and Hannah Riede , 80 % of workers surveyed believe they face more risk in terms of social security as other workers, and only a third of workers surveyed believed that their pay is fair. But it is not only the precariousness related to the terms and conditions of remuneration and social protection that is being criticized.
According to the same study, more than 75% of the respondents indicate that they have the feeling of being treated as a “factor of production anonymous” and not as human beings. The precarious economic situation obviously doesn’t help to improve this very poor impression.
A digiscore, to empower businesses and users
Are we aware that the people working for our favorite platforms have been severely hit by the consequences of the uberisation? What can we do to take advantage of the digital economy without participating in the exploitation of workers within these services? For the CNNum, a first step could be awareness. The companies with the most “virtuous” in terms of working conditions could be rated favorably with a “Digiscore”. Each platform is awarded a grade of A to E, that could shift workers and consumers.
To Maud Bailly, a member of the CNNUM, the creation of the “digiscore”would be a source of information for future workers and consumers. “The important thing is that each person, worker or consumer, has a clear information and fair,” and knows what to keep knocking at the door of a platform or by requesting its services.
The criteria to create this digiscore have already been mentioned: the practices of the companies in terms of wage protection, working conditions, and quality of the social dialogue. But other criteria are possible, such as the integration to the local economy, for example.
Put workers at the centre of the application
The fact of going through an application make the consumer less aware of the social implications? Students of the school Sup de Pub have been thinking about ways to revaluate the figure of the worker, in particular for the delivery of meals at home. For example, customers would be more inclined to talk and better deal with the drivers if the application shows us his picture of the delivery man? Ideas for improving the user experience have been proposed: to know the first name of the delivery person, information about his hobbies, etc., The monitoring of the delivery can also be customized with information that would help us to have more empathy for the driver, for example by proposing a follow-up by GPS, which incorporates its mode of transport, but also the weather or the traffic conditions (traffic jams…)
A Digiscore soon?
The Digiscore is scheduled for January 2021. A new structure, the social observatory of the platforms would bring together various jurisdictions, such as the Pôle Emploi, Urssaf and the inspection of the work, and the DGE would be responsible, before its implementation, the mission of the preparatory work for three months. During this preparatory mission, the observatory will implement the Digiscore, in particular the methods of evaluation of criteria and the way of the view.