Food delivery platform Swiggy on Monday announced the rollout of an ambulance service for its active delivery executives and their dependents in the case of emergencies.
Delivery executives can reach out on a toll-free number or simply tap the SOS button without leaving the partner app in the case of an emergency before, during, or after a delivery to access the free ambulance service, Swiggy said in a statement. A study by government think tank NITI Aayog had recently estimated that in 2020-21, 77 lakh workers were engaged in India’s gig economy, with the workforce expected to expand to 2.35 crore workers by 2029-30.
Delivery boys, cleaners, consultants, bloggers, etc., are all part of the gig economy, and face several challenges related to social security, gratuity, minimum wage protection and working hours, as they are engaged in livelihoods outside the traditional employer-employee arrangement. “On the lines of Indonesia’s initiatives in offering accident and other insurance to workers through digital mechanisms, ride-hailing, delivery and e-commerce platforms may adopt such a model for providing accident insurance to all delivery and driver partners, and other platform workers across India.
“These may be offered in collaboration with the private sector or government, as envisaged under the Code on Social Security, 2020,” the NITI Aayog study suggested. The current average response time is 12 minutes, Swiggy said on the ambulance service, and added that the process will require no documentation; delivery executives only need to confirm their partner ID. “Swiggy has launched this service pan-India after piloting the service in Bangalore, Delhi, NCR, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, and Kolkata. In the test runs and the cases raised so far, the service’s response time has been an average of 12 minutes,” Swiggy said.
The delivery app has tied up with Dial4242 which can dispatch different Ambulances such as BLS (Basic Life Support) ambulances, Cardiac ambulances, ALS (Advanced Life Support), Inter-state ambulances, Covid-19 ambulances, and Hearse Vans based on the severity of the case. “The service is free for all active delivery executives and their dependents (spouses and two children), who are covered under the insurance provided by Swiggy. Delivery executives can also choose to avail of the ambulance for family members not covered under their insurance at a subsidized cost,” Swiggy stated.