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Article

5 Jul 2024

Author:
Abhilasha Chattopadhyay, The Wire

India: Karnataka Gig Workers Bill provides grievance system for gig workers yet navigating it poses challenges

" Can a Law End Gig Workers' Troubles in Karnataka?", 5 July 2024

India is home to the second-largest gig economy globally, with approximately 56% of all the gig workers in the Asia-Pacific region operating within the country

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Despite this significant growth, regulation in India’s gig economy remains limited. Platforms often categorise workers as ‘contract workers,’ denying them access to employee benefits such as minimum wages, overtime compensation, annual leave, severance pay, pension pay, employee provident fund (EPF) accounts, and anti-discrimination laws.

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The design and structure of these platforms also isolate workers, making collaboration and unionisation challenging.

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The proposed Karnataka Platform-based Gig Workers (Social Security and Welfare) Bill, 2024, seeks to address these issues by providing structured social security benefits and welfare measures for gig workers.

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the need for mechanisms to enforce minimum wages to ensure a baseline income for gig workers and conduct regular assessments and adjustments to keep pace with inflation and the cost of living

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Strengthening data privacy provisions will protect gig workers’ personal information and prevent exploitation.

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Vulnerable workers are at risk of exploitation due to systemic disadvantages that extend from the unequal working relationship into the grievance redressal systems as well. If unchecked, redressal systems tend to replicate the existing power imbalances in the name of quick resolution.