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Rajasthan Platform-Based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Bill, 2023

  • 26 Jul 2023
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: Gig Economy, Gig workers, E-commerce, Code on Social Security, 2020, Labour Rights

For Mains: Gig Economy in India, Issues Associated with the Gig Workers in India, Social Security Blanket for Gig Workers.

Source: TH

Why in News?

The Rajasthan Assembly recently passed a significant Bill aimed at extending social security benefits to gig workers.

  • This bill aims to address the lack of protection and benefits for gig workers, who were previously classified as "partners" rather than employees in companies like Ola, Uber, Swiggy, Zomato, and Amazon.
  • Earlier, the Code on Social Security, 2020 mandated social security funds for gig workers, including life, disability, health benefits, and more.

What is the Rajasthan Platform-Based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Bill, 2023?

  • About:
    • The Rajasthan Platform-Based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Bill acknowledges the significant contributions of gig workers to the economy and aims to provide them with essential protection and support.
    • The primary objective of this bill is to extend social security and welfare benefits to gig workers operating in the state.
  • Key Features:
    • Registration of Gig Workers:
      • The bill mandates the registration of all gig workers with the state government to bring them under the ambit of labor regulations.
      • The state government will maintain a comprehensive database of all gig workers operating in Rajasthan.
      • Each gig worker will be assigned a unique ID, which will facilitate tracking their employment history and entitlements.
    • Access to Social Security Schemes:
      • Gig workers will be granted access to a range of social security schemes.
      • These schemes may include health insurance, accident coverage, and other welfare measures to provide financial support during emergencies.
    • Grievance Redressal Mechanism:
      • The bill ensures that gig workers have the right to be heard and address any grievances they may have.
      • This provision seeks to protect the rights of gig workers and provide them with a platform to resolve work-related issues.
    • Establishment of Platform-Based Gig Workers Welfare Board:
      • This board will be responsible for overseeing the welfare and rights of gig workers in the state.
      • Welfare Board — comprising State officials, five representatives each from gig workers and aggregators, and two others (“one from Civil Society and another who evince interest in any other field”).
        • At least one-third of the nominated members should be women.
      • This representation aims to ensure that the interests of both parties are considered when making decisions related to welfare and regulation.
    • Platform-Based Gig Workers Fund and Welfare Fee:
      • The bill introduces a "Platform-Based Gig Workers Fund and Welfare Fee" to finance the social security measures for gig workers.
      • The fund will be utilized to provide financial support and welfare benefits to gig workers during challenging times.
    • Fee Levied on Aggregators:
      • Aggregators will be required to pay a fee for each transaction involving a platform-based gig worker.
      • The specific percentage of the fee will be determined by the state government to contribute to the welfare fund.
    • Penalties for Non-Compliance:
      • The bill includes provisions for penalties in case of non-compliance by aggregators.
      • Aggregators failing to pay the welfare fee on time will be charged an interest rate of 12% per annum from the due date.
      • The state government can impose fines of up to Rs 5 lakh for the first contravention and up to Rs 50 lakh for subsequent violations of the Act by aggregators.

Who are Gig Workers?

  • A ‘gig worker’ is currently defined as someone who “earns from such activities outside of the traditional employer-employee relationship and who works on a contract” for various platforms or aggregators, such as Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, Uber, Urban Company, etc.
  • Gig workers are different from regular employees, as they have flexible work hours and multiple sources of income.
    • They are paid on the basis of the tasks or services they complete, rather than on a monthly or hourly basis.
  • Gig workers provide various services, such as food delivery, ride-hailing, home services, e-commerce, content creation, graphic design, web development, etc.
    • They use their own devices, vehicles, and tools to perform their work.
  • Gig workers are estimated to be around 15 million in India, according to a report by Boston Consulting Group and Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. They are expected to grow to 90 million by 2028.
  • A Gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations contract with independent workers for short-term engagements.

  • Code on Social Security, 2020:
    • The Code on Social Security, 2020 aims to amend and consolidate laws related to social security to extend it to all employees and workers in organized or unorganized sectors.
    • The Code can be applied to establishments subject to size-threshold through notification by the central government.
    • Separate Social Security Funds will be set up by the Central and State Governments for unorganized workers, gig workers, and platform workers.
    • Registration provisions are specified for unorganized workers, gig workers, and platform workers.
    • A National Social Security Board will be established to recommend and monitor schemes for these categories of workers.
    • Funding for schemes of gig workers and platform workers may come from contributions by central and state governments, as well as aggregators.
    • Penalties for certain offenses have been reduced, including obstructing inspectors and unlawfully deducting contributions from wages.
    • During an epidemic, the central government may defer or reduce employer and employee contributions (under Employee State Insurance (ESI) and Provident Fund (PF) for up to three months.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Q. Examine the role of ‘Gig Economy’ in the process of empowerment of women in India. (2021)

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