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Budget 2022: Implement social security scheme, minimum wages - gig workers' body

Budget 2022: Implement social security scheme, minimum wages - gig workers' body

The gig workers expect the announcement on implementation of social security cover, besides regulatory intervention for deciding minimum wages and documented contracts for the workforce during from the union budget of 2022-23.

The gig workers expect the announcement on implementation of social security cover, besides regulatory intervention for deciding minimum wages and documented contracts for the workforce during from the union budget of 2022-23. The gig workers expect the announcement on implementation of social security cover, besides regulatory intervention for deciding minimum wages and documented contracts for the workforce during from the union budget of 2022-23.

India‘s growing base of gig workers is without a social security cover and a minimum wage guarantee policy even as the government last year announced a social security scheme, which is yet to be implemented. The number of independent workers is rising in India, especially with digital platforms and the consumer economy growing massively during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The gig workers expect the announcement on implementation of social security cover, besides regulatory intervention for deciding minimum wages and documented contracts for the workforce during from the union budget of 2022-23.

According to Shaik Salauddin of the Hyderabad-based Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers and the Telangana Gig and Platform Workers Union, the social security scheme has been in the works since last year but has not moved past the draft stage.

“We have been meeting the centre officials, ministries for faster implementation of this scheme which is likely to entail the health, insurance benefits to lakhs of gig workers. But there has been no announcement further. We look forward to more clarity on this during the upcoming Budget and the setting up of a regulatory framework for the new-age tech firms so that there is no discrepancy,” Salauddin said.

Notably, in December last year, the Supreme Court had issued a notice to the centre and various platforms including Swiggy, Zomato, Ola, Uber on whether the gig workforce in India should be included in the unorganized labour category so that they are entitled to various social security benefits like insurance, provident fund, gratuity, maternity benefits and other welfare schemes. The petition was filed by Salauddin on behalf of the Indian Federation of App-based Transport Workers.

“We are also seeking government intervention in the allocation of funds towards 10 lakh gig workers who have been registered. The constitution of a panel to oversee the funds allocation by corporates and government also should be taken into consideration. Despite the noise created by the tech firms of providing insurance, medical benefits, vaccination costs to workers, our estimates suggest only 5 per cent of the gig workforce was vaccinated with the cost of corporates. The rest have incurred expenses in a personal capacity. We have also been pleading for a documented contract, which could provide some evidence on our earnings,” Salauddin added.

Published on: Jan 21, 2022, 8:18 PM IST
Posted by: Bismah Malik, Jan 21, 2022, 8:12 PM IST