Skip down to main content

Work in the Planetary Labour Market: Fairwork Cloudwork Ratings 2021

By Kelle Howson, Hannah Johnston, Nancy Salem, Robbie Warin, Fabian Ferrari, Yihan Zhu, Pablo Aguera Reneses, Funda Ustek-Spilda, Daniel Arubayi, Srujana Katta, Shelly Steward, Matthew Cole, Adam Badger, and Mark Graham
Cover of Work in the Planetary Labour Market: Fairwork Cloudwork Ratings 2021

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.


Publication date:
June 2021



Hannah Johnston

Fairwork Foundation


Robbie Warin

Fairwork Foundation

Related Topics