Online food delivery platform Swiggy has introduced a two-day paid monthly period time-off policy for all its regular women delivery partners. The announcement was made on Wednesday, October 20. This time-off, the company said, is optional, and the delivery executives who opt for it will receive a minimum earnings guarantee during the two days.
It must however be noted that an overwhelming majority of the platform’s delivery workers are male, and according to reports it has only around 1,000 women delivery workers across the country. Of this, it is unclear how many are regular on the platform. Swiggy’s post said that one of the reasons that delivery was not a viable gig for women was because of the discomfort they face in being out and delivering while on their period.
However, this move comes amidst several platform companies, including Swiggy, being criticised for its practices, lack of safety for delivery workers, a severe drop in pay amidst rising expenses, issues with the algorithm and more.
Swiggy further said that accessing washrooms was an issue for its women delivery executives and that it is working with restaurants in Kochi to address this. “More recently, we have also partnered with Shell to provide our delivery partners access to restrooms across all their petrol stations in the country,” it said.
The platform also said it is opening up dinner slot deliveries for women delivery partners. And at the same time, for the safety of women delivery partners, Swiggy said it is tweaking safety processes. This has been started in Bengaluru, and will be extended to other cities after the training of partners is completed.
Safety measures announced by the company include training modules, SOS emergency support usage guidelines, and dos and don'ts. It added that an SOS service is available to delivery partners that connect to Swiggy’s helpline, the local police or an ambulance in case of a medical emergency.
In what was previously a big ask for delivery partners, Swiggy said that both female and male delivery partners will have the option to decline deliveries if they deem an area to be unsafe, without questions or disincentives.