Taking note of the plight of the gig economy workers, the Karnataka government has decided to formulate policies to ensure better working conditions. Gig economy refers to a workforce ecosystem in which short-term engagements, temporary contracts, and independent contracting is commonplace.
The development comes after the state’s gig workers had raised their grievances in front of the state’s labour department, last month. The workers, affiliated with online platforms, complained of irregular working hours, deviation from labour contracts and poor health coverage, among others.
Talking about the same, the state’s labour minister, S Suresh Kumar, highlighted that the workers affiliated with the online platforms have no clear picture of many aspects of their employment, which includes reduction of commission, denial of incentives and medical insurance.
Kumar also directed the authorities to strike a balance between the interests of the gig workers and the platform. The government acknowledges that the growth of such platforms in the states would create more jobs, in the long run, therefore it does not want to hamper the growth of such platforms.
In the two-hour-long meeting, the ministry discussed pending labour legislations, regulations and other issues and asked the officials to speed up the drafting process. According to the media reports, the state government has already prepared draft rules and is seeking approval of professors of the National Law School of India University (NLSIU).
Indian Gig Economy
With the advent of new players and innovation emerging in the Indian consumer service sector, the Indian gig economy is growing by leaps and bounds. Between September 2018 to March 2019, Indian’s national capital added over 5.60 Lakh people to its gig economy, noting an 88% hike from the 298 workers from the first half of FY2019.
Bengaluru, which had the second-highest number, noted a 29% hike from 1.94 Lakh in the first half of the FY2019 to 2.52 Lakh in the second half. A 2018 global study by PayPal stated that one in every four freelancers globally is from India. Some of the major players in the freelance marketplace include Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr and Truelancer.
Another report to EY’s 2017 Future of Jobs in India report showcased that 24% of the world’s gig workers hail from India.