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Accepted Paper:

A new deal for digital age day labour: Reflections from India on designing effective social protection schemes for platform workers  
Sadhana Sanjay (IT for Change) Nandini Chami (IT for Change) Khawla Zainab (IT for Change)

Paper short abstract:

Building on insights from field practice and empirical investigation of worker experiences in three sectors of India's platform economy, this paper charts a contextually-grounded policy roadmap for designing effective social protection for gig workers, moving beyond a one-size-fits all approach.

Paper long abstract:

In response to increasing pressure from labour movement organisations during the pandemic about the alarming predicament of gig workers, the Government of India has currently come up with a social security scheme for this sector that is expected to generate 56% of future employment opportunities. Though the scheme is yet to be firmed up, initial signs indicate that the government may be opting for a one-size-fits-all approach that is not fully attuned to the differential experiences of workers across various parts of the platform economy. IT for Change, the organisation that the authors are with, has been engaging for the past one year with unions and scholar-practitioners committed to platform workers' rights to construct a bottom-up social protection agenda. Drawing upon this experience, the proposed paper will empirically examine what it means to translate universal social protection principles into effective schemes for three sectors of the platform economy: ridehailing/on-demand delivery; remote online freelancing in IT/ITeS services; and logistics/warehousing operations of e-commerce marketplaces. Through a total of 15 qualitative interviews with workers and experts, the paper will examine the specificities of the work contract, worker-platform firm dynamic, and worker perceptions about work flexibility and employment guarantees in each of the three sectors. Through this empirically rooted exploration, the paper will arrive at a contextually grounded social security framework bringing together universal labour rights principles with sector-specific employment realities for digital day labour in India.

Panel P13b
The precarious New Deal: inclusive development and precarious workers II
  Session 1 Thursday 1 July, 2021, -