Karnataka mulls law for gig economy

Last Updated 24 December 2019, 19:20 IST

Karnataka is mulling introducing legislation to ensure basic facilities for labour employed in the gig economy sector, such as cab aggregators and delivery partners, and has drafted a Bill for this.

The proposal follows several demands by various labour organisations to address the concerns of employees in one of the fastest-growing sectors, fueled by the rapid growth in startups.

In October and November, the Labour Department had consultations with all stakeholders of the sector in its bid to provide social security to the employees.

During consultation meetings, several recommendations such as ensuring job security, minimum wages for employees, providing basic incentives and others were discussed.

Based on the same, the department had prepared a draft Bill to address the concerns of the sector. Following the same, it is now being vetted by Bengaluru-based National Law School of India University (NLSIU).

The Bill is expected to be tabled in the legislature for discussion as soon as possible, as the law concerns at least two lakh employees of the sector, sources said.

Among the recommendations in the initial draft prepared by the Department were provisions that mandated providing provident fund, ESI, bonus and other facilities for these employees.

The Bill also addresses confusion regarding the terms such as ‘driver-partner’ or ‘delivery-partner’ used by some firms to employ people, which the companies allegedly used to evade any responsibility towards them, sources added.

Speaking to DH, Labour Minister S Suresh Kumar said that initially, the department had only considered formulating guidelines to safeguard the interest of employees in the sector. “However, since it appeared inadequate, we decided to draft a Bill to safeguard the interests of these employees,” he said.

The draft submitted by the department was then forwarded to labour law expert Babu Mathew, who is also a visiting professor at the NLSIU. “We have sent him the draft three weeks ago and are expecting a final version of the Bill by the end of the month,” Kumar said.

(Published 24 December 2019, 18:40 IST)

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