Rajasthan has taken a significant step in safeguarding gig workers with the recent enactment of the Rajasthan Platform-Based Gig Workers (Registration and Welfare) Act, 2023 (RGW Act). The new law, which aims to protect gig workers employed by digital platforms like Ola, Uber, and Swiggy, establishes a welfare board and a social security fund, providing much-needed support to this growing workforce.
The RGW Act was made possible through collaborative efforts from civil society groups, workers’ unions, and the state government, showcasing a collective commitment to addressing the challenges faced by gig workers. In recent times, the gig economy has gained prominence as an alternative income source, attracting many seeking flexible employment options and escape from traditional work norms.
Despite its appeal, the gig economy has presented gig workers with unique challenges, including job insecurity, limited access to social security benefits, and ambiguous labour regulations. The RGW Act’s introduction is a significant step forward in mitigating these issues and ensuring gig workers’ welfare.
Under the RGW Act, gig workers and digital platforms are required to register, creating a comprehensive database to facilitate better regulation and protection of their rights. Additionally, the proposed welfare board will comprise representatives from diverse stakeholders, including state officials and gig workers, ensuring a holistic and inclusive approach to decision-making.
While the RGW Act is hailed as a progressive move, workers’ unions are advocating for additional measures, such as preventing deductions from their earnings and establishing minimum wage guarantees. These proposals aim to further enhance these workers’ well-being and strengthen their standing in the gig economy.
Rajasthan’s proactive approach in supporting gig workers sets an example for other states and the national government. As the gig economy continues to grow in prominence, these regulatory efforts become all the more vital in ensuring gig workers are adequately protected and empowered in their work arrangements.