Labour portals to soon get gig, platform verticals


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By Our Special Correspondent

New Delhi, December 28: With number of gig workers slated to swell to 2.35 crore by 2029-30, the government is bracing to integrate verticals to address the needs of the casual workforce in the country. The Niti Aayog in a report released earlier this year had claimed that there are about 77 lakh gig workers in the country, and their size will swell as the economy expands.

The gig workers are employed for terms which are outside the labour laws, with contractual agreements in which the workers essentially earn with commission. While the policy makers are seeking to give a dignified category to them, such workers work for extra hours under conditions which are not favourable to them. Delivery boys for food and grocery Apps are called gig workers.

“The gig and platform work are now becoming a reality and it is dynamic in nature as more and more people are opting for these platforms. Let us also have a separate vertical on these (labour) platforms,” said Arti Ahuja, secretary (L&E), Ministry of Labour and Employment, while speaking at FICCI.

She stated that the aggregators working in this sector are not so federated under any industry body. “This is something which is the need of the hour as aggregators are working for the workers and all this needs to be collated,” she asserted.

Ahuja also stated that many states have already notified their rules under the new Labour Codes, and the Center is following up with the other states. “No other country in the world has a database of its unorganized workers, and the e-Shram portal has today more than 29 crore people registered on the portal,” added Ahuja.

She further stated that the government is in the process of linking the portal to career portals along with various skilling centers. “We also have the National Career Services portal and every month nearly five lakh vacancies are posted. I would urge all employers to post their vacancies on the portal,” she emphasized.

She also emphasized that occupational safety and health is very crucial and there is a separate code also on it. She urged industry to move ahead much faster in implementing irrespective of the Code. “I urge the industry to ensure that occupational safety and health standards relating to the particular industry are in force,” she added.

Speaking on the rights of the contract workers, Ahuja stated that they are also entitled to minimum wages and bonuses, etc., and industry must ensure that those entitlements of contract and outsourced workers are also given to them. “It is a duty that is incumbent upon us as citizens as equal partners in the economy and hence the industry must be cognizant of this,” she added.

Highlighting the pension scheme for the workers, Ahuja said that the government already has a ‘Donate a Pension’ scheme in place. “I would strongly urge the industry to intercede with your employees and professional people if you can take up donation of pensions on a campaign mode for outsourced or contractual workers. This will help them a lot as it is a form of social security,” added the Secretary.

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