In general, gig workers are those engaged in hourly or part-time jobs in everything from catering events to software development. They have a non-standard work arrangement with their employers and share a non-traditional employer-employee relationship. The work is usually temporary and completed within a stipulated time.
What does the Gig Economy look like in India?
Flexi staffing has become key in many organisations with the rise of remote working and tech adaptations. India is one such largest markets of flexi staffing with wider adoption by e-commerce & digital retail companies. Following this trend, gig economies will play an increasing role in other industries like online retail businesses.
Security for gig workers
The gig economy definitely brings in additional job opportunities and economic growth. And it is helpful in times when companies have been forced to downsize, allowing them to engage with freelancers & reduce overhead costs. The other question is do the gig workers avail themselves the same rights as full-time workers? The answer is no, not until now. This class of workers didn’t avail of basic rights & social security until its inclusion as a class of workers under the Code on Social Security 2020 which technically will take time to enforce but gives moral grounds for scope.
Does it bring in efficiency in the workforce?
This question gained relevance through the lockdown as an increasing number of people lost their jobs and ended up picking up some gig work. As the employment contracts get shorter, so does the percentage of well-paid jobs for highly skilled individuals.
The gig economy has emerged as a silver lining of this pandemic and brought with it opportunities for both skilled and semi-skilled professionals to learn, facilitate & ideate. As this model gradually gains importance in India, it needs to be covered under the Indian labour codes as well to ensure security for such workers.