In the past few weeks, anonymous Twitter accounts such as Swiggy DE and DeliveryBhoy have made allegations regarding issues faced by delivery partners of food delivery apps. These include low payouts, opaque payout calculations and alleged cheating, unexplained differences in surge rates, order clubbing and assignments to avoid incentive pay, and zone extensions to avoid return bonuses.
Swiggy and Zomato, which offer delivery work to more than 360,000 gig workers, have responded to these allegations by insisting that earnings per order are much higher than alleged, and that full-time delivery personnel earn over ₹20,000 per month.
India’s gig economy is among the few sectors offering flexible work to unemployed millions. In her 2021 Union Budget speech, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman mentioned the creation of a database of gig workers and extending social security to them. It is important, therefore, to examine these grievances and design policy mechanisms that protect worker rights.