Platform workers and their issues

Context- The new labour codes passed by Parliament recently acknowledge platform and gig workers as new occupational categories in the making.

What are the provisions for platform worker in the labour code and issues with them?

Definition of Platform work according to new law

  • “Platform work” has been defined as a work arrangement outside of a traditional employer employee relationship in which organisations or individuals use an online platform to access other organisations or individuals to solve specific problems or to provide specific services or any such other activities which may be notified by the Central Government, in exchange for payment.
  • Platform worker has been defined as a person engaged in or undertaking Platform Work.

What are the issues with new labour code ?

1)There are no guarantees for better and more stable days for platform workers, even though they are meant to be ‘the future of work’.

2)The Code has drawn criticism from platform workers’ associations for failing to delineate it from gig work and unorganized work.

3)The code does not state which stakeholder is responsible for delivering what quantum of welfare.

4)The terms ‘gig worker’, ‘platform worker’ and ‘gig economy’ not defined with in connection with their wages.

Discuss the role of platform worker amidst the pandemic.

  • platform workers were responsible for delivery of essential services during the pandemic at great personal risk to themselves.
  • They have also been responsible for keeping platform companies afloat despite the pandemic-induced financial crisis.

Way Forward

  • A tripartite effort by the State, companies, and workers to identify where workers fall on the spectrum of flexibility and dependence on platform companies is critical.
  • The Way forward for platform workers is through a socio-legal acknowledgement of the heterogeneity of work in the gig economy, and the ascription of joint accountability to the State and platform companies for the delivery of social services.

 

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