Centre to hold sessions on rights of gig workers

People employed with many new platforms have been demanding proper wages, social security

June 01, 2022 10:21 pm | Updated June 02, 2022 07:24 am IST - New Delhi:

This is the first time that such a brainstorming session is being held by the Government on gig workers and gig economy. File

This is the first time that such a brainstorming session is being held by the Government on gig workers and gig economy. File | Photo Credit: The Hindu

Concerned at the lack of job and social security among gig and platform workers, the Centre has decided to train officials of Central and State Governments on the technological change, new forms of employment, working conditions, and the mechanisms to protect labour and social security rights of these workers.

The V.V. Giri Institute, the training arm of the Union Labour Ministry, is organising the programme aimed at sharing information and good experiences on policies and global practices relating to gig and platform workers and their social security.

This is the first time that such a brainstorming session is being held by the Government on gig workers and gig economy. Gig and platform workers employed with many new platforms had been protesting and striking work demanding proper wages and social security.

The three-day programme beginning on June 13 will discuss the mechanisms to be evolved on the proposed Social Security Fund for unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers. The key issue will be the disbursal of social security amount to registered gig and platform workers and how the registration of these platform workers could be completed through the e-Shram portal.

According to a note shared with the States, the Union Labour Ministry, the trade unions and employers’ organisations, the session will also try to understand the innovative policy responses that countries have established to protect gig and platform workers and how they have adapted their social protection strategies to extend coverage to them. Trade unions and employers’ organisations have also been invited to the session.

The Institute will share international experience on providing social security to the States and other officials. Experiences and interventions of Australia, New Zealand, China, Thailand and Malaysia in this sector will be discussed in the sessions. Examples such as social security for platform workers in the transport sector of Thailand and Malaysia, where there are online models under which two per cent for every ride is deducted for health, accident insurances and for social security will be taken up during the session. Lecture, group discussions, case studies and experience sharing is the methodology adopted in the course.

Also read | A lesson from China on gig workers’ rights

Another issue that will be taken up is the employer-employee relationship in the context of gig and platform economy. Workers’ employment relationships are not recognised in law in this case and gig and platform workers are largely excluded from labour and social security rights, both in terms of law and in practice. Though there are certain benefits for youth and migrant workers, such as quick money and flexible work hours in the gig platforms, uncertain working hours and insufficient income are still considered major issues that need Governmental address.

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