Karnataka’s Draft Bill for Gig Workers


  • Karnataka proposes new legislation for gig worker welfare.
  • Draft Karnataka Gig Workers (Conditions of Service and Welfare) Bill, 2024 shared with stakeholders.

Key Highlights of the Draft Bill:

  • Fair contract terms and income security mechanisms.
  • Dispute redressal mechanisms.
  • State-level welfare board.
  • Central transaction monitoring system.
  • Penalties for aggregator violations.
  • Focus on occupational safety and health.

Background: Gig Economy in India

  • Defined by NITI Aayog: work outside traditional employer-employee relationship.
  • Includes platform workers (Ola, Uber, Swiggy, etc.).
  • Sharp rise in gig workers post-pandemic (7.7 million in 2020-21, projected 23.5 million by 2029-30).

Significance of the Gig Economy

  • Benefits: flexibility for workers, businesses, and consumers.
  • Time flexibility: workers choose their work hours.
  • Income flexibility: opportunity to earn extra income.
  • Sector size:
    • 47% of gig work in medium-skilled jobs.
    • 22% in high-skilled jobs.
    • 31% in low-skilled jobs.
    • Drivers and salespersons – 52% of gig workers (2019-20).
    • Most workers in retail trade & sales (26.6 lakh) and transportation (13 lakh) (FY20).

Challenges Faced by Gig Workers (Janpahal RIGHTS Survey):

  • Long working hours:
    • Over 60% of SC/ST drivers work over 14 hours a day.
    • 83% of delivery persons work over 10 hours.
  • Low pay:
    • 43% of gig workers earn less than ₹15,000 per month.
    • 34% of delivery persons earn less than ₹10,000 per month.
  • Age demographics: 78% of respondents aged 21-40 years.
  • Risky business:
    • Driver fatigue due to long hours and pressure to meet delivery deadlines.
    • 86% of delivery persons find “10-minute delivery” policies unacceptable.
  • Expenses exceeding earnings:
    • 72% of drivers and 76% of delivery persons struggle to make ends meet.
    • 68% of drivers have expenses exceeding earnings.
  • High deductions by companies: 35% report commission deductions exceeding official rates.
  • Customer misbehavior: negatively affects 72% of drivers and 68% of delivery persons.
  • Inability to take leaves: 41% of drivers and 48% of delivery persons cannot take weekly offs.
  • ID deactivation: negatively affects a significant portion of workers.


  • Social security measures: paid sick leave, health insurance, pension plans, etc.
  • Oversight mechanism: government oversight on algorithms and worker monitoring.
  • Skilling: bridge skill gaps through assessments and partnerships with platforms.
  • Promote rights of women and persons with disabilities: gender sensitization programs.

Way Ahead

  • Growing gig economy necessitates adequate regulations.
  • Need for a collaborative approach by government, private sector, and civil society to address challenges and ensure fair treatment of gig workers.

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