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Instacart sues Seattle over premium pay for gig workers; loophole for food delivery remain – KOMO News

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Nevada off hook for contempt in gig workers benefits case | Govt-and-politics

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Nevada news

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Nevada judge lifted a contempt finding against the state unemployment office, saying that it complied just before Christmas with his July court order to resume paying pandemic relief benefits to thousands of out-of-work gig and contract workers.

The state Department of Training, Employment and Rehabilitation issued a statement following the Thursday hearing saying 200 appeals have been heard under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program and another 320 hearings are scheduled in coming weeks.

Attorney Mark Thierman, representing several independent contractors and self-employed workers in the lawsuit filed last May, said Monday the question continues to affect “multiple thousands” of independent contractors and self-employed workers who should have received $600 weekly benefits that Congress allocated as pandemic relief.

“The mandate is still in place,” Thierman said. “A lot of people are still owed money. We’re frustrated with the lack of compassion and responsiveness that DETR has shown.”

The case, which sought class-action status, still is pending before the Nevada Supreme Court.

Washoe County District Court Judge Barry Breslow last month imposed a nominal $1,000 fine and held DETR in contempt for failing to comply with his July order to resume paying pandemic relief benefits to people who had payments start and then stop — leaving them without the $600 a week Congress promised, plus state payments.

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Should You Be a Gig Worker in Retirement? Here’s How to Manage Social Security, Savings | Business

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2. Claim Social Security early and delay retirement distributions

If your gig work income isn’t enough to pay the bills on its own, you could claim Social Security early and put off your retirement distributions until later. Before you decide on this approach, you should know the rules on earning income while receiving Social Security benefits.

You are subject to income limitations if you start receiving Social Security before you reach full retirement age (FRA). For anyone born after 1942, FRA is at least 66 and at most 67 years old. The income limit can be adjusted each year, but it’s $18,960 in 2021. In the years prior to reaching FRA, your Social Security benefit is reduced by $1 for every $2 earned above that cap. In the year you reach FRA, your earnings are reduced by $1 for every $3 you earn above a different cap. That cap in 2021 is $50,520. Only the money you make before your FRA month is counted.

This strategy makes more sense if two things are true: One, you know you won’t exceed those income caps; and two, a down market has affected your retirement savings balance, and you’d prefer to wait for a recovery before taking distributions.

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A modern approach towards recognizing Gig workers and new domains

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India is a country that is known for its valued democracy and equal representation to all strata of classes irrespective of their backgrounds. For a country with big business houses, and a flourishing industrial market, it is necessary that its workers get the benefit and deserving representation and various schemes. Workers include a wide definition under our law. Black’s Law Dictionary defines a worker as “A person who offers to perform services for compensation in the employ of another, whether or not the person is so employed at a given time.”Therefore our government provides certain laws and schemes to protect the interest of the labor and workers and from any sort of exploitation. Labour Laws in India governs and regulates the various laws and provisions about the working class of the country.

 Because of changing dynamics and awareness of labor laws reforms in India, on 28th September 2020 with the assent of the President of India, the government came up with the historic labor codes focussing on varied and broader definitions and aspects of labor in India. These codes are The Code on Social Security, The Industrial Relations Code, and The Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions Code. The following article focuses on the Rights and benefits of contract/gig workers under these codes.

 

Meaning of Labour, Contract and Gig Workers

The new labor codes have interpreted the wide definitions of contract and gig workers, provided under Section 2(19) and 2(35) of The Code on Social Security, 2020 respectively.

Contract Labour is defined as “means a worker who shall be deemed to be employed in or in connection with the work of an establishment when he is hired in or in connection with such work by or through a contractor, with or without the knowledge of the principal employer and includes inter-State migrant worker but does not include an employee (other than a part-time employee) who is regularly employed by the contractor for any activity of his establishment and his employment is governed by mutually accepted standards of the conditions of employment (including engagement on a permanent basis), and gets periodical increment in the pay, social security coverage and other welfare benefits per the law for the time being in force in such employment;”

Gig worker is being defined as “means a person who performs work or participates in a work arrangement and earns from such activities outside of traditional employer-employee relationship;”

The provision of the gig workers in the code reflect the changing scenario of emerging markets and a fresh take on the new different roles and definitions of a worker.

During these unprecedented times of COVID-19, there has been a relative rise in the no. of gig workers. Such unconventional roles needed protection under the new labor codes.

 

Need for schemes and provisions for gig workers

Words like “freelancers”, “gig workers”, and “platform workers” created a stir in recent years and picked up pace during the 2020 pandemic. One of the greatest examples of a gig market is the workers of the food delivery app Swiggy. During the pandemic, All India Gig Workers Union was formed in August 2020 to protect the interests of the gig workers, who were largely affected by the sudden wage cuts and unemployment distress. The incident reflected the state of the gig workers in the country.

The provision of gig workers in the code reflects the changing scenario of emerging markets and a fresh take on the new different roles and definitions of a worker.

During these unprecedented times, there has been a relative rise in the no. of gig workers. Such unconventional roles needed protection under the new labor codes

 

Rights/Benefits provided to Gig workers

Section 46(1) of the Code gives power to the Central Government to frame various schemes for the benefits of the unorganized workers or gig workers.

 

Social Security Schemes powered by the Central government

Section 114(1) gives the power to the Central Government to frame schemes and policies in regards to the social welfare of the gig workers and platform workers. The areas which are to be covered as follows:

(i)             Life and Disability cover

Schemes related to the protection of the Right to Life of the gig workers or anything which renders them disable due to any event will be protected under this section.

 

(ii)           Accident insurance

(iii)         Health and Maternity

Health policies and schemes are guaranteed to the gig workers. Maternity Benefits is described under Chapter VI of the code which specifies to what are the conditions which require a woman to take maternity leave.

 

(iv)          Old age Protection

Gig workers will be provided with the schemes of the old age-related circumstances and issues and benefits

 

(v)           Creche

The gig workers under the Code are protected with the schemes of education, even for the children and toddlers, provided by the government, gig workers will be able to avail themselves the benefit under this clause.

 

(vi)          Any other benefits provided by the government

 

The above section also provides for the implementation and the manner in which the schemes maybe implemented, sources of the funds, and any initiative or scheme by the Central Government.

The highlight of this Section is the role of the aggregators and their role and contribution towards funds for the gig workers. For this purpose, a wide list of aggregators has been given under the Seventh Schedule of the Act. The schemes can be wholly funded by the aggregators besides the Central Government and the State Governments. It gave an altogether new representation to the aggregators to further the cause.  It is notified that their contribution shall not be more than 2%, but not be less than 1% of their annual turnover. The Aggregators can be categorized as follows:

1.     Ridesharing services

2.     Food/ grocery delivery

3.     Logistics services

4.     Content and media

5.     Travel and hospitality and healthcare

6.     Professional services

7.     Healthcare

8.     E-market places (which includes a wide network of business mediums like B2B-business to business, or B2C- Business to Commerce)

Or any such services which may be provided by similar platforms/aggregators.

For better implementation of policies, Aggregators are also included in the National Social Security Board as provided by Section 114(6) of the Act.

 

 Social Security Fund for Gig workers/contract labor

Section 6(7) of the Code provides for the various functions to be carried out by the National Social Security Board for the framing of the schemes for the benefit of the unorganized, gig, and platform workers. Their functions revolve around advising the Central Government on the various schemes provided for such workers and ensuring and monitoring that these schemes meet the requirements of the targeted audience. Besides, it would deal with financial assistance and record keeping.

This Code defines social security as “means the measures of protection afforded to employees, unorganized workers, gig workers, and platform workers to ensure access to 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, under this Code;”

Section 141(1) of the Code provides for the social security fund to be provided for by the central government. It is set up to provide for the social welfare of gig workers and others as defined under this section.

 

Conclusion

The new Labor Codes, 2020 had provided a robust definition to gig workers and recognizing a new way of workstyle. These codes not only provide a broader aspect to the working of gig workers and rights and benefits provided to them but also a way forward to upcoming and emerging industries. Though these codes replace several Acts that were in existence before this, it is incredibly important that every aspect should be thoroughly studied and analyzed, and always provide scope for modern laws and upcoming generations of the workforce.

 

  

References

1.     SS_Code_Gazette.pdf (labour.gov.in)

2.     Labour Codes | Ministry of Labour & Employment

3.     The Code on Social Security 2020: How will this new labour Code benefit employees, workers? – The Financial Express

4.     The Code on Social Security, 2020 (labour.gov.in)

5.     New Labour Codes,2020 (legalserviceindia.com) 


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