In a first, the Indian government’s new draft social security code will recognise gig economy workers, and will mandate gig economy companies to contribute to a social security fund for gig and platform workers, reported Business Standard. Approved by the Union Cabinet on Tuesday, the code will come up in the Parliament’s monsoon session starting next week. Gig workers will also be eligible to insurance benefits provided by state-run Employees’ State Insurance Corporation. According to the draft Bill, they will also be entitled to life & disability cover, health & maternity benefits, old-age protection, and “other benefits” laid out by the central government, which will frame social security schemes for them, according to another Business Standard report. Platforms such as Swiggy, Uber, Ola, and Zomato, fall under gig economy, and do not have a typical employer-employee relationship with the delivery "partners" (as they are referred to by the companies). In India, gig workers are a subset of the unorganised workforce, who are plagued with unsafe working conditions, limited insurance and other benefits, and perennially changing rates for deliveries and rides. Uber and Ola drivers have been driven to suicide as a result of low earnings when incentives were tweaked in 2017. Gig companies globally insist that workers carrying out deliveries and ferrying passengers on their platforms are not their employees, but "partners" or independent contractors, and hence are not entitled to usual social security benefits. Currently, gig workers are not covered under any labour code In India, such workers are…
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