The problems and challenges for gig workers

One of the main contributions in shaping the future for tomorrow is from the gig workers.  In India, many of the gig workers remain unstable, where the lack of traditional employment protections puts gig workers on a precarious footing. Some of the workers in this field cite the issues they are currently facing in society. Not having a pension, health insurance, paid sick leave, or paid holiday covered by the employer, as well as minimal job security with regard to redundancy packages or dismissal notice periods, etc are the main challenges in this field, according to reports. 

The so-called group gig workers are those workers who work as independent contractors, online platform workers, contract firm workers, on-call workers, and temporary workers. Gig workers enter into formal agreements with on-demand companies to provide services to the company’s clients.

In many countries, the legal classification of gig workers is still being debated, with companies classifying their workers as “independent contractors”. At the same time, some labor advocates are trying for them to be classified as “employees”, which would legally require companies to provide the full suite of employee benefits. 

In India during the year, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court for pandemic relief for app-based transport and delivery workers, who have been struggling to stay afloat. As per reports, the government has already approved a law that would make gig workers eligible for social security benefits, though there’s been little progress on this since 2020.

Moreover, according to data, the number of gig workers has been increased and their working procedure has also changed.  In the UK, the number of gig workers doubled between 2016 and 2021. In the US, it’s the main source of income for over 10% of workers. 

From time to time, the growing popularity of platform businesses has been accompanied by pockets of protest by their workers, primarily those engaged for cab and delivery services. In India, the grievances have mainly been related to remuneration and working conditions. Though,  taxi drivers, domestic workers, and translators find work through online portals have been growing so quickly that in nearly every country where it exists, the situation for other fields is not normal. A group is still facing hardships in their routine pack-up. Some governments are rushing to develop laws, but are surrounded by corporate resistance and loopholes. 

In 2018, 36% of U.S. workers joined the gig economy through either their primary or secondary jobs. The number of people working in major economies is generally less than 10 percent of the economically viable population, according In Europe, 9.7 percent of adults from 14 EU countries participated in the gig economy in 2017, according to the survey. Meanwhile, it is estimated that gig workers’ size, which covers independent or non-conventional workers, is 20% to 30% of the economically active population in the United States and Europe.

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Because a lot of gig work can be done online, gig workers from around the world find themselves competing with one another in a ‘planetary labor market’. platform work regulation has been strongest in Europe, says López. In December, the European Union proposed a directive to improve and clarify working conditions on platforms. In Germany, most delivery platforms score above 5 on the Fairwork scale of 1 to 10, which rates platforms according to the research project’s five principles of fairness in pay, conditions, contracts, management, and representation.

Many factors go into a desirable job, and the best employers focus on the aspects of work that are most attractive to today’s increasingly competitive and fluid labor force. Traditional workers have a long-term employer-employee relationship in which the worker is paid by the hour or year, earning a wage or salary. Outside of that arrangement, work tends to be temporary or project-based workers are hired to complete a particular task or for a certain period of time. Coordination of jobs through an on-demand company reduces entry and operating costs for providers and allows workers’ participation to be more transitory in gig markets.

From the perspective of a worker, being an employee entails more rigidity of working hours and pay, whereas the gig economy has more options of work assignments and payment offerings to choose from, more flexibility of working hours, and greater freedom of switching from task to task. However, when the labor supply is high and more disposable, as in the case of blue-collar workers, the gig workers have no power to influence payment offerings, and freedom to choose becomes but an illusion. 

Many blue-collar jobs in India even face insecurity and wage problems and they also have no employment stability. Gig workers on the other hand have different and better options, is there is an ease of entry for this sectors.  However, there are pros and cons for this group of employees.