In a growing economy like India, proper assessment of working conditions is essential.
The last two decades have been a time of continuous disruptions, technological or otherwise, as a result of increased global activities. Digitisation is one of those areas where India has really progressed well. Even global leaders like McKinsey acknowledge the same. In the last seven years, Indias digital economy has grown by 90%, only second to Indonesia. However, countries like South Korea, the UK and Sweden, still rank higher, a trend that will probably break after this year.
But it is only possible if the informal and independent sectors are better mapped and organised. According to some experts, the countrys digital economy is set to contribute more than $400 billion to the GDP of the nation, if, and only if,the gig workers are included in the traditional labour sector. And that is exactly where the country is heading right now.
The importance of informal workers uplift
In the initial days of digitisation, the informal workers were clueless of their current and future statuses. Further, they also suffered from massive differences in working conditions across several sectors. Achieving uniformity in these conditions without losing the integrity of each sector is thus on the priority list of the government. To achieve that, they have not only started mapping the digital sectors but also rating and reviewing them for achieving better results in a short span.
For example, the Fairwork India Ratings 2020 has considered 11 digital platforms that appoint independent contractors to analyse their working conditions, examine the scope of work and its influence on millions.The report, which included digital platforms like Uber, Ola, Zomato, BigBasket, Swiggy, and others, revealed that heterogeneity exists in management and policies of the companies, thus leading to more confusion and headache.
Nearly three million independent contractors are employed in these digital platforms, so maintaining uniformity is integral. Further, the pandemic and the lockdown that followed are said to be biased against the informal workers. As a result, the government has brought about several changes in the labour laws to include such independent workers and offer them the necessary security and benefits of formal employees.
Let us take a look at those labour laws for gig/independent workers that are currently in place or will be implemented soon.
The labour laws for gig workers in India
Recently, the government amalgamated 29 labour laws into four labour codes to achieve uniformity and reduce confusion. These codes changed the definition of employees to include independent workers to ensure their security and privileges. The Social Security Code 2020, Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code 2020, and the Industrial Relations Code 2020 now include the gig workers, who have been deprived of all the perks that formal employees get.
So, one may say that these new labour laws are directed towards the gig workers specifically. Let us understand these and their benefits:
As an organisation, utilising these new labour codes is crucial to take the hiring game a notch up. Every opportunity should be recognised and used accordingly to reduce the costs of employment without exploiting anyone. You can take the help of professionals who understand the nitty-gritty of the new labour codes. If you are a business owner seeking a flexible workforce, these compliance professionals can help you understand the nuances of your decision to prevent any violation and reduce liabilities.
Get ready for an expanding gig economy in 2021 that will help you increase your network of independent workers.