ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Employment Status of Digital Platform Workers

Approaches of Apex Courts

Examining the principles laid down by the Supreme Court of India in determining the traditional employer–employee relationship and their application in determining the employment status of gig and platform workers, the paper looks at the legislation and judicial decisions in determining the employment status of platform-based gig workers in other parts of the globe. Arguing that the law on digital labour platforms could not keep pace with the advancement of digital technology, the paper suggests that we have to move beyond the traditional employer–employee relations and draw lessons from the development taking place overseas to examine how far the same may be adopted in the Indian conditions.

The rapid advances in digital technologies led to the emergence of the gig and platform economy. The gig economy involves a triangular relationship between (i) the consumers, who avail of a specific service; (ii) the platform-based gig workers who are being paid for the service rendered by them; and (iii) the aggregator who connects the consumer to the platform-based gig workers. It has not only revolutionised the modern economy but affected almost every aspect of life (Fu et al 2021).

According to the International Labour Organization (ILO 2021), the number of digital labour platforms has increased fivefold in the last 10 years. The 2021 report of the ILO highlights the role of digital labour platforms in transforming the world of work and emphasises the need for an international policy dialogue and coordination.

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Published On : 9th Mar, 2024

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