IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis

Karnataka Bill on gig workers

8th July, 2024 POLITY AND GOVERNANCE

Karnataka Bill on gig workers

Disclaimer: Copyright infringement not intended.

Context:

  • Karnataka government published the draft of the Karnataka Platform-based Gig Workers (Social Security and Welfare) Bill, making it the second Indian State to initiate such a move, the first being Rajasthan.

Karnataka Platform-based Gig Workers (Social Security and Welfare)

  • The Bill aims to address the challenges faced by gig workers in the state, providing them with social security and welfare measures.

Provisions of the Bill:

Definition of Gig Worker:

  • The Bill defines a gig worker as someone who performs work sourced through a platform like Swiggy, Zomato, Uber, etc., under specific terms and conditions laid down in a contract.

Protection of Rights:

  • It introduces rights-based protections for gig workers, aiming to prevent arbitrary dismissals by mandating valid reasons for termination in writing and a 14-day notice period before termination.

Grievance Redressal Mechanism:

  • The Bill proposes a two-level grievance redressal mechanism to address grievances of gig workers effectively. This is crucial as many workers face issues such as unfair dismissals without proper recourse.

Transparency in Operations:

  • It requires platforms to be transparent about their automated monitoring and decision-making systems, which often affect workers' assignments and earnings based on customer feedback.

Payment and Deduction Policies:

  • Mandates that aggregators make payments to workers at least weekly and explain any deductions clearly. This addresses concerns about arbitrary deductions from earnings.

Contractual Safeguards:

  • Contracts between gig workers and aggregators must be clear and written in simple language. Changes to contracts must be notified at least 14 days in advance, allowing workers the option to terminate without adverse consequences.

Welfare Board and Fund:

  • Similar to Rajasthan, Karnataka plans to establish a welfare board and a social security and welfare fund for gig workers. Funding for this would come from a welfare fee levied on transactions or turnover.

Registration and Database:

  • All gig workers must be registered, and aggregators are required to maintain a database of these workers, ensuring better oversight and management.

Working Conditions:

  • While the Bill mentions the provision of reasonable and safe working conditions, it does not explicitly define what constitutes "reasonable." This could be an area for further clarification or amendment.

Trend in other states:

●Rajasthan was the first state to introduce such legislation, followed by Karnataka. Haryana and Telangana are also working on similar bills or initiatives, indicating a growing recognition of the need to protect gig workers nationwide.

National Context:

  • At the national level, the Code on Social Security introduced in 2020 recognizes freelancers and short-term workers, aiming to provide them benefits similar to regular employees.

Comparison with National law

Aspect

Karnataka Bill

Code on Social Security (2020)

Definition of Gig Worker

Defines gig worker as per specific terms on platform-based work

Recognizes freelancers and short-term workers broadly

Objective

Regulate social security, welfare, and rights of gig workers only.

Provide social security benefits to non-traditional workers such as unorganised sector, fixed term employees and gig workers, platform workers, inter-state migrant workers in addition to contract employees.

Scope

Applies specifically to platform-based gig workers in Karnataka

Applies nationally to various types of non-traditional workers

Rights and Protections

Provides rights-based protections, safeguards against unfair dismissals

Mandates benefits similar to regular employees for gig workers

Transparency

Requires transparency in automated decision-making systems

No specific provision on transparency in automated systems

Payment and Deductions

Mandates weekly payments and clear deduction policies

Ensures benefits including payments varying from daily, weekly, monthly, etc to non-traditional workers

Contractual Safeguards

Specifies contract terms, 14-day notice for changes

No specific requirement on contract terms or notice periods

Welfare Board and Fund

Establishes welfare board and social security fund

Framework for national social security schemes and funds

Registration and Database

Requires registration and database maintenance

No specific requirement on registration or database maintenance

Conclusion:

  • Karnataka Bill represents a significant step towards ensuring the welfare and rights of gig workers in the state, addressing long standing issues of insecurity, arbitrary treatment, and lack of social protections. By regulating the gig economy, the state aims to strike a balance between promoting flexibility and autonomy for workers while safeguarding their interests and well-being.

For detailed study on Code on Social Security (2020)

https://prsindia.org/billtrack/the-code-on-social-security-2020

To study about the issues and challenges faced by gig workers refer the following article:

https://www.iasgyan.in/daily-current-affairs/indias-first-gig-workers-rights-bill

Source

https://epaper.thehindu.com/ccidist-ws/th/th_international/issues/89802/OPS/GB7D17TDD.1+GJ5D17TGE.1.html

PRACTICE QUESTION

Q) Consider the following statements regarding The Code on Social Security, 2020:

  1. It consolidates and amends laws relating to social security benefits for workers in organized and unorganized sectors.
  2. The Code mandates compulsory Aadhaar linkage for all beneficiaries to avail social security benefits.
  3. It provides for the constitution of a National Social Security Council to oversee the implementation of social security schemes.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A. 1 only
B. 2 and 3 only
C. 1 and 3 only
D. 1, 2, and 3

Correct Answer: A

Explanation:

Statement 1 is correct:

The Code on Social Security, 2020 aims to consolidate and amend the laws relating to social security benefits provided to workers, both in the organised and unorganised sectors. It integrates and rationalizes the existing laws into a single legislation to ensure better coverage and administration of social security schemes.

Statement 2 is incorrect:

The Code does not mandate compulsory Aadhaar linkage for all beneficiaries. Aadhaar linkage is not a requirement for availing social security benefits under this legislation.

Statement 3 is incorrect:

The Code does not provide for the constitution of a National Social Security Council. Instead, it establishes a National Social Security Board for policy formulation and monitoring of social security schemes.The Board is responsible for advising the central government on matters relating to social security schemes, monitoring their implementation, evaluating their impact, and recommending measures for effective delivery of benefits.