India needs national legal, social security architecture for gig workers: Congress

Jairam Ramesh said the Karnataka Platform-based Gig Workers Bill is a ‘landmark rights-based legislation’

Updated - July 12, 2024 12:33 pm IST

Published - July 11, 2024 09:32 pm IST - New Delhi

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh listed some of the features of the Karnataka Platform-based Gig Workers (Social Security and Welfare) Bill such as establishing the gig workers’ social security and welfare fund and gig workers welfare board to advocate for gig workers. File

Congress leader Jairam Ramesh listed some of the features of the Karnataka Platform-based Gig Workers (Social Security and Welfare) Bill such as establishing the gig workers’ social security and welfare fund and gig workers welfare board to advocate for gig workers. File | Photo Credit: PTI

Citing legislations by its State Governments to ensure justice for gig workers, the Congress on July 11 said India needs a national legal and social security architecture for such workers and hoped that the forthcoming Union Budget will take a step in that direction.

Congress general secretary, in-charge communications, Jairam Ramesh said the Karnataka Platform-based Gig Workers (Social Security and Welfare) Bill, 2024, is a landmark rights-based legislation that brings formal rights and social security to platform-based gig workers in the State.

Editorial | ?Even the odd jobs: On the Karnataka gig workers bill

The Karnataka Government last month released a draft of the proposed Karnataka Platform Based Gig Workers (Social Security and Welfare) Bill, 2024, which aimed to protect their rights in the State with the creation of a board, welfare fund and grievance cell among other mechanisms.

Mr. Ramesh listed some of the features of the Bill such as establishing the gig workers’ social security and welfare fund and gig workers welfare board to advocate for gig workers.

The Bill also calls for mandatory registration of all gig workers with the government and States that aggregators can no longer terminate a worker without giving 14 days prior notice and a valid reason.

According to the Bill, aggregators must make payments to gig workers every week.

"Leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha, Rahul Gandhi, has been a leading voice for India's gig workers since the Bharat Jodo Yatra," Mr. Ramesh said in his post on X.

He said the Congress Governments in Telangana and Karnataka, and the previous Congress Government in Rajasthan, have brought powerful legislation to bring gig workers justice.

Social security for gig workers was also a key guarantee given by the Indian National Congress’s Nyay Patra for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, he pointed out.

"As much as State Governments can do, India needs a national legal and social security architecture for gig workers. Their numbers are only projected to rise, from 77 lakh in 2022 to about 2.4 crore in 2030. The ball is in the court of the Union Government. Hopefully the forthcoming Budget will take a step in this direction," Mr. Ramesh said.

According to Karnataka's Labour department, the objectives of the proposed Bill are "to protect the rights of platform-based gig workers, to place obligations on aggregators in relation to social security, occupational health and safety, transparency in automated monitoring and decision-making systems and to provide dispute resolution mechanisms," among others.

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