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LABOUR LAWS AND GIG ECONOMY

ABSTRACT:- Change is destiny and the traditional way keeps on getting challenged by modern discoveries. One such discovery is the Gig Economy which is on a sudden rise after the COVID-19 pandemic. The gig Economy in general means giving employment to someone for a short period in which there is no job security which leads to no income security as well. There is no work schedule as such so the employees have the authority to decide for how many hours in a day, they want to work. The working hour directly affects the salary of the gig worker as there is no minimum wage in this sector. And there comes the Labour law which got its popularity during the Industrial Revolution. Labour law dictates the working environment in a workplace which also provides certain rights to the Company and the employees. The Gig workers are restricted from those rights because they do not fall under the traditional way of the employment sector.


With the changing times, the laws also need to change so that there is no one left from the scope of law. The discussion is important about the changes required in the Gig economy.

 

INTRODUCTION:- The Gig Economy which is considered to be a cost-effective productive way of doing business in the current times is on the rise with each passing day. Businesses are trying to match up the market demand to stay relevant and active in the rat race of the corporations. People who are not employed in big firms and are not able to cope with the upcoming demands of skills in the market, find a better option in becoming a part of the Gig world.


Despite the popularity that the Gig economy contributors get, there are an enormous number of challenges that they face regularly and it is becoming exhausting for the Government to make absolute laws to manage the Gig economy and bring appropriate changes to regulate the affairs.


The Labour laws have been implemented to synchronize the working pattern of the employees in the Companies and Businesses. It is an arduous endeavour for lawmakers to recognize the issues and appropriately deal with them. Labour Law is a body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents that address the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations. The Labour laws are there to manage the work relationships between the Company and the employees. Unions majorly play a huge role in narrating the issues in front of the concerned authorities.


The Labour Law emphasizes the betterment of the employee's experience in the workplace. The rules and regulations mentioned in the law make the experience much better for the workers and the employers. Systemizing the process keeps the environment in a disciplined manner which results in smooth equations among the colleagues. Labour law arose in parallel with the Industrial Revolution as the relationship between worker and employer changed from small-scale production studios to large-scale factories. Workers sought better conditions and the right to join a labour union, while employers sought a more predictable, flexible, and less costly workplace.


Gig Economy is a changing trend, it has been on the rise yet questionable in a few scenarios. It would become more successful in the future because of the startups that are coming into the market continuously. Companies like Blink-it, Zomato, Swiggy, Zepto, Uber, and Rapido are making the market more valuable with the opportunities that they are providing to gig workers.


Gig Economy is not a traditional way of awarding employment. It has revolutionized the employment sector of the whole world. It has its share of pros and cons but the way it has marked its presence in the world which is resilient towards traditional to modern shift is exceptional. The unemployment and recession also made it easier for the Gig Economy to expand.

 

PROBLEMS AND ISSUES RAISED:-

Just like every other thing, the Gig Economy also has issues attached to it. The comfort that the traditional working style provides to its employees is something that is majorly missing in the Gig sector.


Minimum Wages:- The traditional sector provides workplaces to its employees along with a fixed salary for each month which makes it easier for the employee to manage the expenses and make plans and expenditures accordingly. The Gig works do not offer the same. Gig worker’s salary depends on the work that they have done in that specific duration. So in most places, there is no minimum wage provided. The Payment of Wages Act 1936 requires that employees receive wages, on time, and without any unauthorized deductions. Section 6 requires that people are paid in money rather than in kind.

 

Health:- There is an ignorance towards the health benefits which are always been provided to the employees. The Labour law provides the important necessities to the employees which makes their problems much easier. From the mid-19th century, attention was first paid to the plight of working conditions for the workforce in general. In 1850, systematic reporting of fatal accidents was made compulsory, and basic safeguards for health, life, and limb in the mines were put in place from 1855.


Work-life management challenges:- It can be disruptive if a worker isn’t used to making their schedule. It can lead to overwork and burnout. 5 The excessive workload on the workers can affect their health which can lead to serious health problems.


Career Growth:- There are so many gigs works which are available in the market and when a person enters into this world, it becomes difficult for them to manage time and focus on the other important opportunities that would help them develop their career.

 

SOLUTIONS:-

Life is an unfair process that can mark its end even while working to make it affordable. The companies that hire Gig workers must provide health insurance to them. The worker put their hard work into it, and it is providing insurance is the simplest thing that the Companies can do. The Workmen’s Compensation Act 1923 requires that compensation is paid if workers are injured in the course of employment for injuries, or benefits to dependants.


The Labour Law must be Amended, and it should diversify its scope to adjust the Gig workers’ needs and necessities. The government must take opinions from the workers so that they can make the required changes. The government has to make strenuous efforts for the well-being of the Gig workers.

Minimum wages must be granted to them so that they can remain assured that there won’t be many financial problems even in the harshest situations for them.

 

India needs a well-organized Gig workers Union so that their problems reach the people in power and the necessary laws be made in the Parliament. The Trade Unions Act 1926, amended in 2001, contains rules on governance and general rights of trade unions. It is repealed by the Industrial Relations Code, 2020.

 

CONCLUSION:- The gig economy is part of a shifting cultural and business environment that also includes the sharing economy, gift economy, barter economy, and more flexible jobs. The cultural impact of the gig economy continues to change. Gig Economy is a new normal that has been accepted by the employment sector wholeheartedly. Becoming a Gig worker has become a natural choice for people who are unemployed or who are willing to do a part-time job. Gig workers put all their effort into doing the work but there are several challenges that they face about minimum wage, health, and societal acceptance. Companies are opting for gig workers because there is no question of sick leave or health insurance and they also do not have to spend resources on the workers. There is also no adequate training being provided to the gig workers for their work.


Workers choose to be gig workers because there is flexibility for them to schedule their time. If a worker is not willing to work for 10 hours a day, then he can leave in between but he would be paid according to the work that he has done. And because of this, the workers are independent in choosing their working hours.

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)


Q1. What is a Gig Economy?

A1. A Gig economy is a free market system in which temporary positions are common and organizations hire independent workers for short-term commitments. The term “gig” is a slang word for a job that lasts a specified period. Traditionally, the term was used by musicians to define performance engagement.

 

Q2. What do Labour Laws do?

A2. Labor law mediates the relationship between workers, employing entities, trade unions, and the government. Collective labour law relates to the tripartite relationship between employees, employers, and unions.

 

Q3. What is the Gig Economy’s status in India?

A3. India is a huge market, and foreign investments keep coming to India the start-ups are also on the rise which makes it predictable that the Gig economy is going to contribute a lot to the Country’s GDP. Projections show that the Gig economy could contribute 1.25 per cent to India’s GDP and create 90 million non-farm jobs in the long run.

 

Q4. What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of the Gig Economy?

A4. Flexibility of time, multi-tasking, and Independence in choosing work are the most appreciated advantages of the Gig Economy however the Instability of fixed income, no health insurance are the most criticized disadvantages.

 

Q5. What kind of efforts can change the dynamics of the Gig economy and fix the issues in the Gig Economy?

A5. If the Government brings Amendments to the Labour laws and makes sustainable changes in the laws, then the issues can be solved. The labour laws are there for the traditional way of employment sector, but the Gig Economy is still far from its scope.

 

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