Karnataka Government Releases Draft Bill for Welfare of Platform-Based Gig Workers

The proposed bill aims to safeguard the rights of platform-based gig workers and impose social security obligations on aggregators.
A gig worker on a motorcycle
A gig worker on a motorcycleGetty Images

The Karnataka Government has released a draft of the proposed Karnataka Platform-Based Gig Workers (Social Security and Welfare) Bill, 2024, aimed at protecting their rights in the state with the creation of a board, a welfare fund, and a grievance cell, among other mechanisms. 

According to the state Labour Department, the objectives of the proposed bill is "to protect the rights of platform-based gig workers, to place obligations on aggregators in relation to social security, occupational health and safety, transparency in automated monitoring and decision-making systems, and to provide dispute resolution mechanisms," among others. 

The proposed welfare board will comprise government officials, including the Karnataka Labour Minister, two officials from aggregators, two gig workers, and a civil society member nominated by the state.

Read: Byju's Challenges NCLT Order on Second Rights Issue in Karnataka HC: Report  

Speaking to PTI, Labour Minister Santosh Lad said the government has held discussions with numerous stakeholders, including Flipkart, Amazon, Zomato, and Swiggy. 

"One is that how do you generate revenue, whether to call it a fee, a cess, or a tax? So, the idea is whether we should go on a transactional model basis or on a turnover basis. So, at last, most of the people have agreed that it should go on a transactional basis and not on a turnover basis," he said. 

The minister said the bill would be tabled in the next assembly session. "We have talked to everybody; we have called the trade bodies, unions, and NGOs; we have taken all their inputs; and based on their inputs, we have come up with this new bill," he said. 

"My fundamental point is that especially people who are working on gig platforms, they are compromising with their lives and health, and the reason is that if anybody is working 15–16 hours a day on the road, especially two-wheelers, autorickshaw drivers, or, for that matter, four-wheelers, they are exposed to the hazardous carbon dioxide they have to inhale so much. 

That's one fundamental point where all these people have to look into because how much ever you pay, more or less health is compromised," Lad said. 

 "Keeping that into consideration, we are trying to create more cess so that we can take care of their health properly. First concern is their health. Longevity of their life is more priority and taking care of their family and children will be our priority and that is where all this Gig platform workers will benefit from this very bill," the Minister explained.  

Read: Gig Workers Battle Exploitation And Privacy Breaches By Urban Company

There are nearly two lakh Gig workers in Bengaluru alone who are attached to various platforms, according to officials. Some of the key highlights of the bill include- aggregators are not allowed to fire gig workers without "valid reasons" and at least 14 days' notice, establishing a welfare fund and more.  

The only state that has a law that provides social security to gig workers is Rajasthan. Last year the state passed a law to provide social security benefits for gig workers. The Bill grants platform-based gig workers the right to register with the state government, access social security schemes, and have their grievances addressed, among other benefits. 

Gig workers faced the heat, especially during the heatwave in the country. Speaking to The Hindu, a gig worker said, “Recently, I was on my third assignment of the day when I fainted. Minutes later, I found myself lying on the floor of the house, with my client sprinkling water on my face.” There have been several cases of heatstrokes in the country as well. This year, there were more than 41,000 cases of heatstroke in the country, as per a report by the Health Ministry. 

(With inputs from PTI)

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Business & Money