What does India’s first gig workers’ rights Bill stipulate?

Source: The post is based on the article “What does India’s first gig workers’ rights Bill stipulate?”  published in The Hindu on 25th July 2023.

What is the News?

The Rajasthan government has passed the Rajasthan Platform Based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Bill, 2023. 

It is the first legislation of its kind in India outlining welfare schemes for the State’s approximately three lakh gig workers.

What are the key provisions of Rajasthan Platform Based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Bill, 2023?

Definition of Gig Worker: The bill defines a gig worker as a person who performs work or participates in a work arrangement and earns from such activities outside of the traditional employer-employee relationship and who works on contract that results in a given rate of payment, based on terms and conditions laid down in such contract and includes all piece-rate work.

Applies to: The Bill applies to “aggregators” (digital intermediaries connecting buyers and sellers) and “primary employers” (individual or organizations engaging platform-based workers). 

Welfare Board: The Bill proposes a Welfare Board. The Minister in charge of the Labour Department will be the chairperson of the board and at least one-third of its nominated members will be women. It will also have two members each from gig workers and aggregators to be nominated by the state government.

– The board will ensure registration of gig workers and aggregators operating in the state and establish a social security and welfare fund for gig workers. 

Fund: The Welfare Board will create a “Social Security and Welfare Fund” comprising contributions made by individual workers, State government aids, other sources and a ‘welfare cess’  a cut from each transaction which the aggregator is required to pay.

– The rate of the welfare cess will not exceed 2% nor fall short of 1% of the value of each transaction and aggregators are required to submit the amount within the first five days of a month. 

Access to schemes and grievance redressal: The Bill provides gig workers access to general and specific social security schemes and opportunity to be heard for any grievances and appropriate grievance redressal mechanism.

Aggregators duties: The aggregator’s duties under the Bill include: depositing welfare cess on time, updating the database of gig workers and documenting any variations in numbers within one month of such changes. 

– If they fail to comply, they will be fined up to ₹5 lakh for the first offence and ₹50 lakh for further violations; primary employers will pay up to ₹10,000 for the first offence and ₹2 lakh for subsequent violations.

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