Swiggy to give 2-day paid monthly period leave to female delivery partners
(PTI) Swiggy, Food delivery platform, has introduced a two-day paid monthly period time-off policy for all the regular female delivery partners during which such partners will get minimum earning guarantee.
Other initiatives include enabling access to vehicles, access to hygienic restrooms, implementing safety measures for female delivery partners. Mihir Shah, vice president for operations at Swiggy, said 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,” said Shah, in a company blog post. “This industry-first initiative gives our female DEs the option to voluntarily take time-off during their menstrual cycle and be eligible for a minimum earnings guarantee during that time.”
SoftBank-backed Swiggy has over 200,000 delivery partners out of which about 1,000 are women delivery partners. In 2016, Swiggy onboarded its first female delivery partner in Pune. “Since then we have been striving to build inclusivity and diversity across the platform with a commitment towards increasing the number of women delivery partners in Swiggy’s delivery fleet,” said Shah.
To bring about necessary changes, Swiggy’s Shah said the company is ensuring to stay cognizant of the challenges the women delivery partners face, especially with respect to access and safety. “Creating an environment that encourages women to consider delivering with Swiggy is a priority,” said Shah.
One such initiative by Swiggy is access to vehicles. Several women who are interested in onboarding with Swiggy either lack access to personal motor vehicles, or don’t have a driver’s license at all. Swiggy is addressing this issue in two ways. First, assuring them that delivery by bicycle is a viable option for short-distance orders. In fact, 22 per cent of the women delivery partners deliver on bicycles. Second, it also working with electric mobility partners to facilitate EV cycles and bikes (sub 25 kmph) on rent.
Another initiative is access to hygienic restrooms. Swiggy’s partners, both men, and women spend a considerable time on the move and often don’t have easy access to clean and safe public restrooms. Shah said Swiggy has worked with restaurant partners in Cochin and are expanding this to other large cities to address this need gap. More recently, the firm has also partnered with Shell to provide our delivery partners access to restrooms across all their petrol stations in the country.
Swiggy said the safety of delivery partners is of utmost importance to it. Measures like ‘safe zones’ and capping delivery hours at 6 PM for female delivery partners were implemented. However, the firm 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,” said Shah. “Starting with Bengaluru where we have the highest number of women delivery partners, we’re opening up dinner slot deliveries. It will be extended to other cities after we complete training our partners there.”
Some of the measures Swiggy has in place include robust virtual safety training modules that cover situational training. This includes Swiggy SOS-emergency support usage guidelines and important safety dos and don’ts. Both female and male delivery partners have the option to decline deliveries if they deem an area to be unsafe – no questions, no disincentives. An SOS service is available on the Delivery Partner App that instantly connects one to a Swiggy helpline, local police, or an ambulance in the case of a medical emergency.