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Distribution of Benefits to Job Workers Employed at More Than One Place

New opportunities offered due to advancement of technology, specialised facilities and comfort of consumers has given rise to an innovative for of workforce, namely, the gig workers. These types of workers are those who conduct work or engage in a work arrangement and benefit from such activities outside the conventional employer-employee relationship, according to the proposed Social Security Code Bill.[1]

While the opportunity is a blessing for the unemployed population of the nation, at the same time they must face the herculean task of being granted 'employee' status, regularised salaries and other social securities. Besides, gig workers cannot unionize and have low bargaining power, which adds to their vulnerabilities in the long run.[2] The nature of job allows for an individual to be enrolled with more than one company at a time. Prima facie it appears to be economically yielding.

However, having multiple employers opens the floodgates of denying social security benefits to gig workers, arguably shifting burden to other employers of the individual. This paper aims to discuss/analyse how the benefits guaranteed to gig workers via the Code on Social Security, 2020 (hereafter, Act) be granted to individuals working with multiple companies.

What does the code state?

Chapter IX of the Act provides for social security of gig workers, which mainly is controlled by the National or the concerned state government. Section 112 of the Act provides aids gig workers[3] via toll free number for the dissimilating information, registration, filing and assistance for various benefits schemes announced by the appropriate government. Section 113 states the eligibility of gig workers to avail the benefits of the formulated schemes.

Section 114 provides for the types of benefit schemes that can be formulated by government. The same is also mentioned under section 2(72) of the act. The benefits are health care and to provide income security, particularly in cases of old age, unemployment, sickness, invalidity, work injury, maternity or loss of a breadwinner by means of rights conferred on them and schemes framed.[4] The schemes are to be monitored by the National Social Security Board as mentioned under section 6(7) of the Act. Although, the statue mentions several benefits and the procedure to procure them, the lacuna exists in case of multiple employers of a worker.

The proposed solution's

The rampant dependence on various apps likewise, food from Swiggy/Zomato; Cab from Ola/Uber etc. has heated up the requirement for gig workers by various multinational companies. Due to the occasional employment of the gig economy, workers enter in a contract with companies that require their skill set.

Let us consider an example wherein a gig worker, is a driver at Uber and a delivery person at Myntra and Amazon. He/she must have three different agreements and granted the benefits as per the policies of the company. Health and medical allowances are the most basic benefits that every company must offer to its workers.


Now, in case of an accident of the gig worker (which was not his/her negligence but an honest accident) who would be liable to pay the compensation if any?

The abovementioned issue by analysing the course of employment. The liability of compensation and other health benefits must be borne by the company whose task the worker was fulfilling. The course of employment essentially means the period in which the worker is preparing or performing the task. In case of gigs via apps, the course of employment begins from the moment the service provider connects the worker and the consumer. The approval of worker for the job (e.g., driver confirming ride on uber) is pivotal to being the employment.

Permanent or Partial Disablement

Owing to the understanding propagated in a few judgements, we can consider gig workers as 'workers.'[5]

In case of any type of disablement the employee compensation under the Act must be given by again on the basis of course of employment theory. If there is an overlap in discharge of service by the worker, the compensation must be shared equally by both the employers. For example, an Uber ride booked from the location where Myntra parcel is to be dropped. ON the way, worker meets with an accident, then the compensation must be shared by both the companies as he/she was in the course of employment of both.

Maternity Benefits
Implementation of these benefits has failed to a great extend in case of unorganised workers. However, lets presume that in case of gig workers they are discharged effectively due to the registration with the companies, appropriate government and awareness. The filter of working at least 90 days likewise the formal sector must be applied. This can have two outcomes, the employment with one or more company passes this filter and with others 90-day requirement is not met from the date of the delivery. In such situations, the companies with whom the requirements are satisfied must share the compensation. While others are free from any such liability.

Other Benefits
Old Age workers is the most vulnerable group and requirements of them must be highly echeloned. This group is given assistance under various schemes of Government that must not be used an excuse to deny them benefits by the employers. The relaxations in limitation period in matters like bonuses or daily targets must be given by companies.

The creche facility of all the employers must be accessible to the workers and the most convenient one can be chosen. This flexibility allows better performance at jobs. The Prevention of Sexual Harassment at workplace must also expand to include gig workers under it. Furthermore, employers must not refrain from protecting women from any harassment. in the course of their employment

Challenges to the Solutions
The greatest challenge would be if the gig workers do not disclose that they are enrolled with other companies too. This will amount to double, triple or even more times receiving/ payment of benefits. This situation can, however, be avoided by a mechanism like the e-shram registration which is done by the government.

The registration of every gig worker must be made mandatory, and incentives must be given to register. Details such as employer, type of work, date on which the job started, etc must be enquired in the form. The database can serve the companies while enrolling gig workers and at the time of discharging benefits.

Also, punitive actions must be taken in case of any violation. Another probable challenge could be when employers do not agree to share the compensation due to different company policies. The regulatory cholesterol in domain can only be reduced by intervention of industry/ labour authorities wherein, they mandate that the policy of the company which favours the labours must be followed in sharing. The rationale behind the same is that the aim of compensation or benefits is to socially secure the gig worker.

The hardship of gig workers under labour laws are evidenced very often. In case of gig worker employed at various companies can be given compensation and other benefits in the following ways. The work done must be looked from the lens of course of employment, sharing of benefits in case of an overlap, eligibility for benefits as followed under formal sector and synchronised schemes of labour authorities and government. It is not possible to provide composite set of benefits as gig economy is an upcoming dynamic domain, however, certain guidelines and general principles can serve the problem positively.

  • Bansal R., Singh R., Gandhi M., The Emergence of Gig Economy in India: A Paradigm Shift, Parishodh Journal, Volume IX, Issue II, ISSN NO:2347-6648.
  • Hodory M., Gig Workers and Performance Pay:A Dynamic Equilibrium Analysis of an On-Demand Industry, Available here:
  • Paul Harpur, Peter Blanck, Gig Workers with Disabilities: Opportunities, Challenges, and Regulatory Response, Journal of Occupational Rehabilitation (2020) 30:511�520,
  1. Bhanu Mati Doshi and Hitesh Tikyani, A Theoretical Integration of GIG Economy: Advancing Opportunity, Challenges and Growth, International Journal of Management (IJM), 11(12), 2020, pp. 3013-3019.
  2. Chaudhary R., India's Emerging Gig Economy: Shaping the Future of Work for Women, Georgetown Journal of Asian Affairs, Volume 7
  3. The benefits are also granted to unorganized and platform workers. This paper is only focuses on gig workers, henceforth only gig workers is mentioned.
  4. Section 2(72) of the Code on Social Security, 2020
  5. (i) Dynamex Operations West Inc. v The Superior Court of Los Angeles County Ct. App. 2/7 B249954; (ii) Delhi Commercial Driver Union v UOI (Delhi High Court, W.P.(C) 3933/2017); (iii) Dharangadhara Chemical Works vs. State of Saurashtra (Appeal (civil) 85 of 1956 1957 AIR 264 ) and Bangalore Water Supply and Sewerage Board v A.S. Rajappa (1978) 2 SCC 213)

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