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LabourMin to meet entities employing gig workers to understand concerns

Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra said there could be some implementation issues for providing social security benefits for gig and platform workers, given that they do not have the typical fixed-wage terms of employment.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | October 17, 2020 12:49:50 am
The Labour Ministry has begun work to frame rules for the three codes, with an aim to finalise the rules by November and then put them in public domain for consultations, Chandra said. (Representational)

The Labour Ministry will soon hold a meeting with the entities employing gig and platform workers to understand the concerns and challenges faced by them as it moves ahead with its rule-framing process for the new set of labour codes.

The government is discussing ways in which it can provide social security benefits to the gig and platform workers, who have been brought into the ambit of labour laws for the first time, but lack a uniform standard of employment, officials said.

Labour Secretary Apurva Chandra said there could be some implementation issues for providing social security benefits for gig and platform workers given that they do not have the typical fixed-wage terms of employment.

“I am calling a meeting with entities of gig workers to understand their challenges. There would be some issues since their employment is not the typical fixed-wage employment. There is a need to understand their concerns,” he said.

The provisions for gig and platform workers need to be streamlined keeping in mind the possibility of simultaneous employment of these workers across two organisations, officials said. For instance, some of these workers could be working for two cab aggregators at the same time, so social security benefits need to be defined taking note of such types of employment.

The government is aiming to implement the four labour codes from April 1 next year. The Labour Ministry has begun work to frame rules for the three codes, with an aim to finalise the rules by November and then put them in public domain for consultations, Chandra said. The Centre is also going to reach out to states to hasten the process for setting rules at their level in order to meet the April 1 deadline. Parliament last month cleared new versions of three labour codes — Industrial Relations Code, Code on Social Security and Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code. The government has proposed to increase the ambit of social security by including gig workers and inter-state migrant workers.

The Social Security Code proposes a National Social Security Board, which shall recommend to the Centre for formulating suitable schemes for different sections of unorganised workers, gig workers and platform workers.

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