The Act, among other things, will impose a welfare fee on aggregators like Amazon, Ola and Zomato for the welfare fund for gig workers working with these platforms
As per state government officials, aggregator platforms would be charged up to 2% welfare fee on transactions
Earlier this month, the Karnataka government said it would provide free accident and life insurance cover worth INR 4 lakh to gig workers
The Rajasthan Assembly has passed the ‘Rajasthan Platform Based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Bill, 2023’, which, among other things, will impose a welfare fee on aggregators like Amazon, Ola, and Zomato for the welfare fund for gig workers working with these platforms.
The Bill also has a provision for levying a fine of up to INR 5 Lakh on the aggregators for first contravention, which may go up to INR 50 Lakh for subsequent violations.
The Rajasthan government had announced a fund of INR 200 Cr for the welfare of gig workers in February this year while presenting its Budget. The Bill is aimed at fulfilling this promise.
While gig workers such as food delivery agents and cab drivers get livelihood through aggregators such as Zomato, Uber, Flipkart, among others, they are not formally employed by these platforms. As such, they are considered unorganised workers and are not covered by the labour laws. The Bill aims to provide social security to these workers.
As per the Bill, “There shall be charged, from an aggregator a welfare fee known as “The Platform Based Gig Workers Welfare Fee”, which shall be at such rate (percent) of the value of each transaction related to platform based gig workers as may be notified by the State Government.”
News agency Reuters, citing state government officials, reported that the aggregator platforms would be charged up to 2% welfare fee on transactions.
Among other things, the aggregators will have to provide the state government access to the database of all gig workers onboarded or registered with them within 60 days of enforcement of the Act.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said that despite their substantial contributions to the economy, gig workers were not previously covered under labour laws and the Act will protect the interest of these workers.
The development comes at a time when the number of gig workers in the country is on the rise due to increasing usage of services of online platforms. However, gig workers of these platforms have multiple times resorted to strikes and protests for better working conditions, social security, and several other reasons. From Urban Company to Blinkit to Swiggy, gig workers across platforms have often been at loggerheads with the management of these aggregators.
As per a report by NITI Aayog, the number of gig workers in the country stood at 7.7 Mn in 2020-21 and this number was expected to increase to 23.5 Mn by 2029-30. The government think-tank called for providing social security to these workers.
The Centre is also looking at providing social security to gig workers under the proposed amendments to labour laws in the country.
Earlier this month, the Karnataka government said it would provide free accident and life insurance cover worth INR 4 lakh to gig workers.