Gig workers and their place in the new labour code

Gig workers were not defined under any statue prior to the passing of the Social Security 2020 (“Code”). The Code under Section 2(35) defines "gig worker" as a person who performs work or participates in a work arrangement and earns from such activities outside of traditional employer-employee relationship. Gig economy is a free market system where organizations hire independent workers or freelancers on a contractual basis for short-term engagements.

The Code aims to provide gig workers certain benefits like maternity leaves, life and disability cover, old age protection, provident fund, employment injury benefits etc. It has been passed to keep the country's young workforce secure as it embraces new kinds of work such as delivery, driving etc. However, according to Mr. Rohitaashv Sinha, Associate Partner of Agarwal Jetley & Co., there are various issues in the Code with regard to gig workers. The gig workers can claim the benefits provided under the Code but cannot claim labour rights. They are now beneficiaries of state schemes but are not allowed to go to court for better and stable pay or against the algorithms which assign them tasks. The gig workers are not regarded as future industrial workers. Eligibility for the Government schemes comes with terms and conditions. This means that they are eligible for the benefits but these benefits are not guaranteed.

This update is by Rohitaashv Sinha, Advocate & Associate Partner at Agarwal Jetley & Co., Advocates & Solicitors. Contact: Email: or Mob: (+91) - 9999565393