Fairwork Principles

These principle are used to score online industries, where workers may not work in a specific country.

Principle 1: Fair Play

Workers must have full confidence that they will be paid for the work they do. Workers can sometimes face the risk of a client not paying for work that has been completed. To achieve this point platforms must guarantee that this is not possible. Where a client considers that work is not completed satisfactorily, there must be a clear and reasonable process for rejection decisions. Additionally, timeliness and regularity of payment are crucial to evidencing fair pay.

The platform must satisfy all of the following:

  • There is a mechanism to ensure workers are paid.
  • Non-payment for completed work is not an option for clients.[1]
  • Payments are made within an agreed timeframe.
  • Workers can choose to be paid in a recognised national currency.
  • Workers can request funds from their account on a regular basis with reasonable withdrawal thresholds.

The rate of pay must meet the minimum legal threshold in the place where the worker works, regardless of whether the worker earns an hourly wage, or engages in piece-rate work.

The platform must satisfy either 1) or 2) depending on their payment model:

  1. For hourly-paid work, workers earn at least their local minimum wage.
  2. For piece-rate work, the vast majority of workers earn at least their local minimum wage.[2]

Principle 2: Fair Conditions

Health and safety risks to workers can include amongst other things exposure to psychologically harmful material, and breaches of data privacy and security. To achieve this point the platform must demonstrate policies and processes that minimise risks to workers.

The platform must satisfy all of the following:

  • There are policies to protect workers from risks that arise from the processes of work.
  • There are processes for job-related health and safety risks (including psychological risks) to be identified and addressed.
  • Risks related to a specific job are flagged to workers before they accept the job (such as indicating that they might be exposed to violent content).
  • There are clear reporting channels and documented penalties for clients who disregard or jeopardise workers’ health and safety.
  • There are adequate and ethical data privacy and security measures, laid out in a documented policy.[3]
  • Workers may spend a significant amount of their working day applying for jobs, especially if they are competing with a lot of other workers. This can include sending credentials to prospective clients, or developing pitches. This constitutes working time, but it is time that the worker is not being paid for. In order to reduce this unpaid working time, platforms should ensure that jobs are available to workers on the platform, and there is not an unmitigated oversupply of labour, meaning more workers are competing for the same job.

    The platform must satisfy BOTH of the following:

    • The number of workers is managed to mitigate oversupply.
    • The allocation of work is managed to promote job availability, and reduce unpaid work and overwork.[4]