Examining the Crucial Aspects of the Karnataka Platform based Gig Workers (Social Security and Welfare) Bill, 2024

On June 29, 2024, the Karnataka Government’s Labour Department published the draft Karnataka Platform based Gig Workers (Social Security and Welfare) Bill, 2024 (the “Bill“) for public comments. In essence, the Bill is aimed at safeguarding the rights of platform[1] based gig workers and mandates aggregators to comply with certain obligations to ensure social security of its gig workers. This article analyses some of the key provisions of the Bill.


The Bill defines ‘aggregators’ as digital intermediaries that connects a buyer and seller of any goods or services (“Aggregators“). The Bill is applicable to all Aggregators that provide one of more of the following services:

  • Ride sharing services;
  • Food and grocery delivery services;
  • Logistics services;
  • E-market place for wholesale or retail sale of goods (including both business to business and business to consumer models);
  • Professional services provider;
  • Healthcare;
  • Travel and hospitality; and
  • Content and media services.

Further, a ‘gig worker’ is defined in the Bill as a person who performs work or participates in a work arrangement for a specific rate of payment (including piece-rate work) on the terms as contractually agreed, and whose work is sourced through a platform. An important aspect of the definition of gig workers in the Bill is that it deviates from the Code of Social Security, 2020, which defines gig workers and platform workers separately. Hence, the Bill seeks to regulate only those gig workers that are employed through a digital platform.          

Gig Workers Welfare Board and Welfare Fund      

The Bill provides for the establishment of a gig workers welfare board (the “Board“) specifying the composition and functionalities of the Board. The Bill prescribes certain duties and functions of the Board, which include the following:

  • Registration of gig workers;
  • Registration of Aggregators regulated by the Bill;
  • Establishing a monitoring mechanism for collection of welfare fee;
  • Ensuring gig workers have access to the benefits of the schemes prescribed by the Karnataka government; and
  • Seek aggregated data from the Aggregators on the work done through their platform.

The Bill also prescribes the setting up of the Karnataka Gig Worker’s Social Security and Welfare Fund (the “Fund“). This Fund shall collect a welfare fee from Aggregators, on the basis of: (i) the payment made to gig workers for each transaction; or (ii) the annual turnover of the Aggregator in Karnataka; or (iii) as per notification by the Karnataka Government.

Compliances for Aggregators

The Bill mandates all Aggregators to comply with the following obligations:

  • Provide fair contracts to all gig workers in a language understood by the gig workers;
  • Ensure that gig workers are permitted to refuse work without adverse consequences;
  • Provide a 14 (fourteen) day advance notice to the gig workers for any change in terms of the contract;
  • Ensure that contracts with gig workers are terminated only with a 14 (fourteen) days prior notice as per the pre-defined grounds;
  • Provide details of parameters of work allocation, work distribution, assessment of work, rating systems, personal data processing, and grounds for denial of work to gig workers, upon request from a gig worker; and
  • Provide details of the automated monitoring and decision-making systems used by the Aggregator which impact the working conditions of the gig workers.

Moreover, Aggregators that engage more than 50 (fifty) gig workers must constitute an internal dispute resolution committee, before which, the concerned gig worker may raise grievances against the Aggregator in relation to payments, benefits, compliances under the Bill etc. Such a committee and grievance redressal mechanism must be clearly accessible on the Aggregator’s platform. The Bill clarifies that notwithstanding the mechanism of the internal dispute resolution committee, gig workers shall still be entitled to entitled to seek resolution of their disputes as per the grievance redressal mechanism laid down under the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947.

In case an Aggregator contravenes the provisions of the Bill, it shall be liable to pay a minimum penalty of Rs. 5,000/- (Rupees Five Thousand), which may extend to Rs. 1,00,000/- (Rupees One Lakh). If such a convicted Aggregator continues the contravention, it shall be liable to pay a penalty of Rs. 5,000/- (Rupees Five Thousand) for each day such contravention continues.


While the Bill is currently open for stakeholder comments and awaits the issuance of corresponding rules, it is most certainly a positive step towards protecting and providing social security to platform bases gig workers in Karnataka. It contains extensive provisions which cover the aspects of transparency and dispute resolution processes. The Bill clarifies that its provisions are not in derogation of any other law currently in force, suggesting that once the new labour codes are notified for implementation, the Bill may not remain in effect. However, this issue will require further clarification from the authorities after the state assembly passes the Bill.

1 Section 2(f) of the Bill defines “platforms” as any arrangement providing a service through electronic means, at the request of a recipient of the service, involving the organization of work performed by individuals at a certain location in return for payment, and involving the use of automated monitoring and decision making systems.