Online food delivery firm Swiggy will be offering paid monthly period time-off to its regular delivery partners, it said in a statement on October 20.
"Discomfort from being out and about on the road while menstruating is probably one of the most underreported reasons why many women don’t consider delivery to be a viable gig. To support them through any menstruation related challenges, we’ve introduced a no-questions-asked, two-day paid monthly period time-off policy for all our regular female delivery partners," it said.
The delivery partners can voluntarily take time-off and be eligible for a minimum earnings guarantee during that time.
As many as 99 percent of the female delivery partners on Swiggy are below 45 years old and 89 percent of them have at least one child. It has around 1000 women delivery partners however it did not mention how many of them are counted as regular on the platform.
This seems one of the first such instances where an aggregator is offering such a facility to the gig workers under its umbrella.
While rival Zomato has period leave the same is for employees and not for gig workers.
However, ahead of its initial public offering Zomato too announced a slew of measures to promote diversity in the organisation. It said it was targeting to have at least 10% women delivery personnel in its fleet by December.
Swiggy and Zomato are also partnering with restaurants to ensure access to basic facilities such as washrooms for the women delivery partners.
To ensure safety Swiggy also said partners- men and women, will be allowed the flexibility to decline an order they thought the area was unsafe.
Earlier the company had capped delivery hours at 6 PM for female delivery partners citing safety concerns.
"However, we realized that this move limited true inclusivity, while also restricting female partners from delivering during one of the most lucrative slots – the dinner peak. We’re changing that by bettering our security processes," the company said.
These moves come at a time when there is more scrutiny on the rights of gig workers in India.
Following constant criticism from partners on declining incomes, home services provider Urban Company last week also decided to reduce the commissions it charges from these partners.
It will also increase prices of some of the high-demand services in order to improve the take-home earnings of its partners.