New rules for new work relationships – 07/21/2021 – Opinion

The discussion about the future of work often falls into an unproductive polarization that recognizes only two paths. On the one hand, the traditional employment model, with control and subordination. On the other, the absence of any regulation, based on immediacy and unrestricted freedom.

Taking digital platform workers out of the regulatory limbo in which they find themselves is the next step that Brazil urgently needs to take to guarantee security, social protection and minimum earnings for the 22 million Brazilians who provide services through the intermediation of mobile applications.

They are deliverymen, drivers, plumbers, designers and manicures, among many other professionals who deserve our respect and who lack specific regulation to support them in this new model of work relationship, the result of the new economy.

iFood is ready and open to establish a dialogue with the Legislative, the Executive, the academy, the organized civil society and, of course, the digital platform workers themselves and the applications that these professionals use. We would love for other companies to walk together with us to protect these people.

The idea is not to end the existing labor legislation, which has served society so well, but to open the way to collectively build a regulatory framework that does not force workers on these platforms to choose between having more benefits and safety in the activity or having less flexibility and autonomy.

As promoters of this cause, which has the guarantee of the professional’s dignity as a starting point, we defend that the concept of safety in the new work model gains unprecedented scope. It must involve the physical, social and financial well-being of platform workers. In practice, we are talking about providing access to social security, accident insurance, health benefits and protection funds in case of illness.

Minimum earnings must be ensured. Compensation on digital platforms must be proportional to the hours worked and always above the floor calculated in the hour/minimum wage ratio in force in the country. Today at iFood, for example, the average earnings of couriers, per hour worked, exceeds this proportion by up to five times.

Listening to these professionals and ensuring that they have a voice in the dialogue with companies is essential throughout the construction of future regulation and, above all, in the work relations themselves. Therefore, it is necessary to provide for transparency, ease of access to the rules of use and clear and objective conditions.

At this point, you should think about what the workers themselves want. According to a survey by the Locomotiva Institute, two out of three prefer a more flexible work model than registering in a portfolio. Therefore, for iFood, freedom of choice, independence and autonomy are rights that must be recognized and valued. Not just for deliverymen, but for all digital platform workers.

Having laid the foundations for the discussion, we are now all protagonists of this revolution. The new world, under permanent construction, demands from us agility to drive the much-needed transformation also in the world of work and its rules. This will not only benefit workers and platforms. Society and the economy as a whole will also gain increasingly sustainable and dignified relationships.

Regulating the work of these professionals is a win-win-win issue. Workers gain, who now have minimum insurance. Companies gain, as they now have legal certainty to invest and innovate. And society wins, with the inclusion of thousands of workers in the social security system.

The time to build together is now.

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