Dr Kelle Howson
Dr Kelle Howson is a postdoctoral researcher on the Fairwork project. Kelle is a development geographer interested in how ethical certification is reshaping governance and power relations in global networks.
Remote working has become rapidly normalised as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This trend has been aided and accompanied by explosive growth in the online gig economy. The International Labour Organisation calculates that digital labour platforms have proliferated five-fold in the last decade. With this growth has come new opportunities for workers from all over the world to participate in a planetary scale labour market.
This report presents the first set of Fairwork ratings for companies mediating remote work in the global gig economy, or cloudwork platforms. Drawing on desk research, dialogue with platform managers, and a survey of 792 workers in 75 countries, report assigns 17 platforms a score out of 10 based on their fairness towards workers. The scores are based on five principles: pay, conditions, contracts, management, and representation. The report finds that, despite a few platforms achieving high scores, the majority of the platforms the project evaluated failed to evidence that basic standards of fairness are met.