Code On Social Security 2020 And Gig Workers:
The Ministry of State for Labour and Employment told the Lok Sabha that the definition of ‘gig worker’ and ‘platform worker’ has been provided for the first time in the Code on Social Security (SS), 2020.
- The Code aims to regulate the organized/unorganized (or any other) sectors and extend social security benefits, during sickness, maternity, disability, etc. to all employees and workers across different organizations.
- The Code undertakes integrating the following 9 labour laws relating to social security into one integrated Code:
- The Code has widened coverage by including the unorganised sector, fixed term employees and gig workers, platform workers, inter-state migrant workers in addition to contract employees.
- The Code applies to everyone on wages in an establishment, irrespective of occupation
- All records and returns have to be maintained electronically. Digitisation of data will help in exchange of information among various stakeholders/funds set up by the Government, will ensure compliance and also facilitate governance.
- The provision of maternity benefits has not been made universal and is presently applicable for establishments employing 10 workers or more.
- The definition of ‘establishment’ in the proposed code did not include the unorganised sector.
- Hence, women engaged in the unorganised sector would remain outside the purview of maternity benefits.
- Any failure to deposit employees’ contributions not only attracts a penalty of Rs 100,000, but also imprisonment of 1-3 years.
- In the case of repeated offence, the penalties and prosecution are severe, and no compounding is permitted for repeated offenses.
- According to the Code on Social Security, 2020 (India), “A gig worker is a person who performs work or participates in work arrangements and earns from such activities, outside of the traditional employer-employee relationship.”
- They are independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers and temporary workers.