The on-demand economy for domestic work is growing rapidly in developing countries. The potential benefits and risks attached to this burgeoning area of domestic work may disproportionately affect women, which make up 80% of the 67 million domestic workers globally.
This report Hunt and Machingura explains that though on-demand platforms offer some benefits to domestic workers – such as choice over working times, tracking of hours worked and wages earnt – overall the on-demand economy threatens domestic workers’ access to decent work. The research identifies low and insecure incomes, discrimination, further entrenchment of unequal power relations within the traditional domestic work sector, and the erosion of established labour and social protections as key challenges.
Finally the authors note that, given the still early days of on-demand domestic work in developing countries, now is the time to set better policies and raise standards. This will involve proactive efforts by companies to ‘design-in’ good practice, as well as by government to ensure an integrated future policy, legal, practice and research agenda.