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Karnataka govt scripting labour law for app-based services

The labour department has prepared a set of draft rules which is being vetted by National Law School of India University (NLSIU) professors Babu Mathew and V Nagaraj. The department will take their inputs before taking a call on how to go about the exercise.

ET Bureau|
Nov 29, 2019, 11.25 AM IST
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BENGALURU: Karnataka may either enact a new legislation or notify a set of new regulations which app-based services such as Uber, Ola, Swiggy and Zomato will have to follow in respect of their workers.

The labour department has prepared a set of draft rules which is being vetted by National Law School of India University (NLSIU) professors Babu Mathew and V Nagaraj. The department will take their inputs before taking a call on how to go about the exercise.

In a meeting on Thursday, labour minister S Suresh Kumar asked his department officials to strike a balance between protecting the interest of workers engaged by online platforms and not create hurdles for the growth of app-based firms as they are known to multiply in the years to come with the promise of adding new jobs.

The minister reviewed the pending labour legislations, regulations and other issues in a two-hour meeting with senior labour officials in which he asked officials to speed up the regulations or draft legislation on gig workers. “The draft regulation has not only been sent to the National Law School professors, but is also being vetted by senior officials in the labour department. It is a work in progress,” the minister told ET.

The workers engaged by online platforms had represented to the labour department last month complaining of irregular working hours, deviation from labour contracts by the app-based companies and poor health coverage, among others.

“The employees have no clarity on many aspects of their employment. They have issues with regard to their medical insurance, reduction in their commission and denial of incentives,” the minister said.

“We must acknowledge that this is a new class of workers the lawmakers had no idea about while drafting labour laws back then. The government has a bounden responsibility to protect them,” he added.

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