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”. Gig workers include contract firm workers, independent contractors, online platform workers, and temporary workers.
Further gig workers can be divided into two :- platform and non-platform workers. Platform workers are those who work on digital platforms or online software apps such as Swigg, Zomato, Ola, Uber etc. On the other hand, non-platform gig workers are casual wage earners and can work either full-time or part-time.
- Gig Economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and workers are working in organizations contracted with short-term engagements.
- Gig economy is a system that is based on flexible, short-term, or freelance work.
- Individuals who are part of the gig economy are called gig workers, who are frequently employed on a contractual basis with the organization, but are not regarded as regular employees.
INDIA AND GIG ECONOMY
- NITI Aayog report titled ‘India’s Booming Gig and Platform Economy’. India’s gig workforce is expected to expand to 2.35 crore by 2029-30. This report estimates that in 2020–21, approx 77 lakh workers were engaged in the gig economy. They constituted 2.6% of the non-agricultural workforce or 1.5% of the total workforce in India. The Report states that at the moment, medium-skilled occupations make up about 47% of gig work, high-skilled jobs make up about 22%, and low-skilled employment make up about 31%.
- According to the India Staffing Federation report (2019), India is the 5th-largest in Flexi-staffing in the world, after the US, China, Brazil and Japan.
- Boston Consulting Group’s report, highlights that in India, over 15 million workers are employed as gig workers across the industries. The number will be enhanced by over 24 million in the near-medium term and to 90 million in the long term.
- According to an ASSOCHAM report, the gig sector has the potential to grow to the US $455 billion at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17% by 2024. The Indian gig economy has the potential to add 1.25% to the Indian Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provide over 90 million jobs in the non-farm sectors of India.
- Economic Survey 2020-21, “the changing nature of work with the change in technology, the evolution of new economic activities, innovation in organisation structures and evolving business models have grown the potential of the gig economy.” The survey stated that digital platforms played a significant role in discovering job seekers and job providers in the absence of middlemen.
Advantages of gig economy
- It makes the work more adaptable to the requirements of the employee and the employer.
- Workers have the flexibility to work according to their convenience and availability.
- Cost Efficiencies for Companies.
- Jobs for low and semi-skilled workforce.
- Nature of payment against the work is more of a piece rate and also negotiable.
- Start-up culture has also been promoted.
Disadvantages of gig economy
- Lack of social security.
- Poor working conditions.
- Lack of benefits like allowances, housing and travel expenses, provident fund etc.
- Low wages.
- Promotion of informal or unorganised labor.
- There may be no scope for upward mobility within the organisation.
- There is unequal gender participation in such platforms.
NITI Aayog has proposed a five pronged RAISE approach to ensure realisation of full access to social security for all gig and platform workers.
- RECOGNISE the varied nature of platform work to design equitable schemes.
- ALLOW augmentation of social security through innovative financing mechanisms.
- INCORPORATE, while designing schemes, the specific interests of platforms, factoring the impact on job creation, platform business and workers.
- SUPPORT workers to subscribe to government schemes and welfare programmes through widespread awareness campaigns.
- ENSURE benefits are readily accessible to workers.
Source :- NITI Aayog