ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Workers in Gig and Platform Economies

It is urgent to protect labour rights and ensure minimum wages and social security benefits.


In December 2021, gig and platform workers received a major boost to their efforts in securing labour rights. The Supreme Court allowed a public interest petition filed by the trade unions for claiming social security benefits and issued a notice to the central government and important players in the industry like Uber, Ola, Zomato, and Swiggy. The judicial intervention now provides a ray of hope to the workers, particularly in the face of continued government apathy in protecting their interests. The petition argues that gig and platform workers should be recognised as workers under the various labour legislations. Refuting the contention that they are independent contractors, as claimed by the companies, the petitioner argued that they were workers as defined by the Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act, 2008.

The trade unions argue that the denial of social security rights is an infringement on Articles 14, 21, and 23 of the Constitution, which ensure to the workers equality, right to life, and protection from forced labour. They also cited the recent judgment of the United Kingdom (UK) Supreme Court, which noted that the contract between Uber and the workers was only a subterfuge and that the actual relationship was that of employer and workers.

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Updated On : 26th Feb, 2022
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