Food apps' defence: Physical, mental health of delivery partners our priority
New Delhi, March 18
As more and more reports surface about the unfair work and pay conditions delivery boys (online food and grocery delivery platforms call them partners) are facing, top online food aggregators on Saturday said they are working hard to provide them with healthy, safe working conditions and be there in their times of need.
Swiggy told IANS that it is enabling a consistent earning and upskilling opportunity for over 3,00,000 delivery executives across the country, apart from a healthy and safe work environment.
"This includes but is not limited to accident death cover, medical insurance, bereavement leave, mental wellness, and on-call doctor support. Numerous additional safety and well-being measures have also been added such as the SOS button and emergency services, income support during accident recovery, paid period time off, maternity leave, free and fast, on-demand ambulance service and enhanced hospitalisation," the Swiggy spokesperson elaborated.
The online food delivery platform in September last year announced a skill initiative to offer free learning opportunities to thousands of delivery executives and their children.
Swiggy partnered with Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organisation to provide courses and certifications via its 'Skills Academy'.
"Delivery partners are our backbone and while they may join with the intention of making this a gig, several have gone on to stay for years and some have even joined Swiggy as full-time employees as part of our Step Ahead programme," said the food delivery company.
Zomato said that road safety is a top-of-mind concern and they have instituted a full track of activities to bring down accident rates with its delivery operations.
It includes mandatory road safety awareness campaigns as part of delivery partner onboarding process; identification of high-risk zones and re-routing delivery partners from such zones; delivery partners not informed of the expected time of arrival of orders conveyed to the customers and delivery partners provided with free medical, health and accidental insurance benefits.
"We have a 24X7 dedicated online emergency support including 'Buddy Delivery Partner' initiative for police/ambulance assistance in case of emergency," according to the company.
Last month, Zomato Founder and CEO Deepinder Goyal announced the company is building public infrastructure to support the entire gig economy and delivery partners of various companies.
Called 'The Shelter Project', the initiative will help delivery partners rest at those points that will offer clean drinking water, phone-charging stations, access to washrooms, high-speed internet, a 24X7 helpdesk and first-aid support.
"We recognise that delivery partners face multiple challenges while on the job, from navigating through traffic to delivering orders in inclement weather conditions," said Goyal.
"We believe that by providing a space for all delivery partners to rest, recharge, and take a moment for themselves, we can create a better environment that promotes their physical and mental health," he added.
The company currently has more than 3 lakh delivery partners across the country.
Online food platform Zomato's consolidated loss widened to Rs 346.6 crore (year-on-year) for the quarter ended December 31, against a loss of Rs 63 crore in the same period last year.