Article: G20 puts gig worker welfare at the forefront- Delving into 6 major challenges freelancers face

Leadership Solutions

G20 puts gig worker welfare at the forefront- Delving into 6 major challenges freelancers face

The G20 New Delhi Leaders' Declaration highlights that the gig and platform economy offers workers the opportunity to overcome traditional constraints related to work hours and physical location. This enables a larger workforce to seamlessly integrate into the labour market.
G20 puts gig worker welfare at the forefront- Delving into 6 major challenges freelancers face

The gig economy now constitutes as much as 12 per cent of the worldwide labour market, a substantially greater share than previously thought. Moreover, it presents a notable opportunity for women and young people in emerging nations. The demand for online gig employment is on a swift upswing. However, there remains a significant deficit in terms of social safeguards for workers engaged in this sector.

In line with this, the G20 New Delhi Leaders' Declaration has included 'ensuring sufficient social protection and favourable working conditions for gig and platform workers' as one of its objectives in addressing global skill gaps. This objective is aimed at advancing decent employment opportunities and guaranteeing comprehensive social protection policies for everyone.

“Gig and platform economy provides opportunity for workers to transcend the limitations of work-time and work-space, enabling more workers to integrate with labour market. However, challenges remain with regards to providing social protection to them due to non-existence of traditional employer-employee relationship,” read the Preparing for Future of Work section. 

What do G20 countries want to achieve?

a. The Employment Working Group will leverage the valuable experiences of G20 member countries to craft a set of recommendations aimed at broadening social protection coverage for a more extensive segment of workers involved in platform and gig economies. This effort will support the creation of monitoring mechanisms to track advancements in social protection for gig and platform workers, thereby enhancing their well-being and economic security.

b. Provide suggestions on improving national statistical capabilities and methodologies to accurately capture evolving work patterns, such as gig and platform work. Additionally, offer insights on harnessing platforms and technology to enhance the efficiency of data collection processes.

c. Generating statistics related to the platform economy will organize data pertaining to diverse groups of workers across various platforms. This will empower both employers and workers to better understand the potential opportunities offered by digital platforms within the G20 nations.

What are the challenges freelancers or gig workers face? 

1. As per a recent report from the World Bank, in low-income nations, the majority of gig workers engage in work that falls beyond the scope of labour regulations, and they often do not have the opportunity to access social insurance or benefits. This highlights the prevalence of informal employment and the limited social safety nets in these regions.

2. There is still a significant disparity in wages, as women on one major online platform, which has been examined, earn only 68 per cent of what men earn. This underscores the ongoing issue of gender-based wage inequality in the digital gig economy.

3. The majority of gig jobs do not provide sufficient safeguards for workers, resulting in income instability and an absence of clear career paths. This situation raises concerns about the financial security and professional development of gig workers.

4. According to the recent World Bank report, approximately 50 per cent of the gig workers do not possess a retirement savings plan. This highlights a significant gap in financial preparedness for retirement among this group of workers.

5. Gig workers face vulnerabilities stemming from regional labour regulations, which can expose them to unjust treatment, exploitation, and workplace injuries. These variations in labour laws contribute to the challenges and risks encountered by gig workers in different locations.

6. Engaging in online gig work comes with its share of difficulties concerning data security and the protection of personal privacy. Hence, it's crucial for government to address these issues to safeguard their sensitive information and maintain online privacy.

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Topics: Leadership Solutions, #GigEconomy, #HRTech, #HRCommunity

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