[Answered] What are the challenges faced by gig workers in India, and how does the Code on Social Security, 2020, attempt to address their concerns?

Introduction: Provide a brief introduction on “Gig workers in India”

Body: Write 4-5 points on the challenges faced by gig workers in India. Write 3-4 points on How does the Code on Social Security, 2020, attempt to address their concerns?

Conclusion: Provide a conclusion on attempts to address the concerns of Gig workers in India.


The rapidly expanding gig economy in India, involving non-traditional employment setups, has brought with it a set of unique challenges. Gig workers, including platform workers who connect with customers through digital platforms, lack the job security and benefits that conventional employees enjoy. The recent strikes by Zomato-owned Blinkit delivery agents highlight the prevalent issues.

What are the challenges faced by gig workers in India?

  • Decreased earnings: The strikes started when Blinkit reduced the minimum payout per delivery from ₹25 to ₹15, resulting in the daily earnings of delivery agents falling from around ₹1,200 to ₹600-700. This incident underscores the precarious income stability of gig workers.
  • Unclear employment status: The status of gig workers, whether they should be regarded as employees or independent contractors, is a contentious issue. Due to this ambiguity, gig workers fall outside the ambit of certain laws and are consequently denied statutory benefits.
  • Exclusion from labour codes: Of the four new labour codes proposed, only the Code on Social Security includes gig work, excluding gig workers from essential protections such as minimum wage and occupational safety. They also can’t form legally recognized unions and lack an effective mechanism to redress grievances.
  • Deplorable working conditions: A 2022 report by Fairwork India highlighted the poor working conditions of gig workers, emphasizing the need for statutory affirmation of their rights.

How does the Code on Social Security, 2020, attempt to address their concerns?

  • Legal recognition: The Code on Social Security, 2020, for the first time, brings gig workers within the purview of labour laws. It provides a legal definition of gig workers and differentiates them from traditional employees.
  • Provision for benefits: While the Code does not provide gig workers with benefits like gratuity, insurance, and provident fund that are available to traditional employees, it mandates that the central and state governments create suitable social security schemes for gig workers, including health and maternity benefits, provident funds, and accident benefits.
  • Mandatory registration: The Code also necessitates compulsory registration of all gig workers and platform workers, enabling them to avail themselves of the benefits offered by these schemes.


Despite some efforts, like the Code on Social Security, 2020, to address gig workers’ rights, their challenges persist. Legal petitions are seeking recognition for gig workers as unorganised workers, and for them to fall under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008. However, the response from the Centre remains pending. While the Labour Codes have received Presidential assent, their implementation is delayed due to pending rules by the States. Hence, a concrete solution for the challenges faced by India’s gig workers is still awaited.

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