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Karnataka set to draft social security framework for over 20 Mn gig workers

On the lines of labour and employment ministry proposal for the Code on Social Security for gig workers, the Karnataka government is working to frame guidelines for the emerging ‘gig economy’ comprising ride-hailing, food delivery and e-commerce platforms.

A new labour section has emerged out of online tech platforms across segments such as Flipkart, Amazon, Ola and Uber, who complain of facing issues related to job security, incentive and several issues, said Karnataka Labour Minister S Suresh Kumar, who met with companies and worker representatives.

The state plans first to assess all angles required to draft the framework. It has assigned Karnataka’s Deputy Labour Commissioner Balakrishna responsibility of forming guidelines, said an ET report.

Balakrishna has been asked to draft the framework within a month’s time.

Kumar acknowledged that the Labour Act of the state needs a revisit as in its previous version it did not include internet firms workers as they are largely termed as partners.

The minister further informed that it would soon hold a meet with the IT industry. The unorganised workforce in Karnataka is over 20 million, as per the last official figure.

In the last couple of years, with a rise in social media and tech platforms, the number of gig workers have gone north. Though, the workers keep complaining about the absence of a social security system at the workplace in the country.

Earlier, the labour and employment ministry of India had proposed social security draft providing gig workers insurance (life and disability), health and maternity benefits, old-age protection and several other rights.

It further proposed to cover people working with marketplaces and any other form of digital intermediaries. The proposal once gets a nod from the govt, will allow people working with Flipkart, Amazon and Paytm all benefits mentioned above without even being on their payroll.

Meanwhile, industry observers have expressed their concern over-regulation of digital or internet businesses, which will indirectly impact workers.

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