Is it time for the gig economy?

Source– The post is based on the article “Is it time for the gig economy?” published in The Hindu on 7th October 2022.

Syllabus: GS3- Employment

Relevance– Changing employment scenario

News- The article explains the concept of moonlighting. It also tells about the laws dealing with moonlighting in India.

What is moonlighting?

Moonlighting is employees working for remuneration with entities other than their employers.

Kotak Securities said in a study that at least 60% of 400 employees surveyed said they themselves had or knew someone who had engaged in moonlighting.

How are companies reacting to moonlighting?

Some companies are supporting it while some are opposing it.

Wipro sacked 300 employees for moonlighting. On other hand, Swiggy has announced a

‘moonlighting policy’

What does the law say?

Moonlighting is not defined in any of the statutes in India. No Constitutional Court has rendered a decision on the subject.

Section 60 of the Factories Act deals with restriction on double employment. It says that no adult worker shall be allowed to work in any factory on any day on which he has already been working in any other factory. However this enactment is applicable only to employees working in factories.

There are State laws which deal with employment of persons working in offices, banks, shops, etc. However, there is no provision in these laws dealing with dual employment.

The Supreme Court’s observation in  Glaxo Laboratories (I) Limited vs Labour Court, Meerut and others held that The employer has hardly any extra territorial jurisdiction. If he has power to regulate the  behaviour of workmen outside duty hours or other places, it is equivalent to slavery.

The Supreme Court ruling means that the sphere of employment cannot be extended by the employer beyond working hours and outside his place of employment.

Court will not give severe punishment unless the employer has not worked against the interest of the company. Courts generally lean towards labour rights.

What is the way forward?

The ministries are of view that employers should not suppress employees who want to monetise, develop and demonstrate. It also urged employees not to violate their agreements

with employers.

In today’s world, every company ought to have a gig economy strategy.

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