With 34% Hike In Women Participation In Gig Economy, Budget Expectations Rise?

Business World

Companies like Paytm, Zomato, Rapido, and Swiggy among others, have been among the top partners posting maximum jobs for women

In a survey conducted by the jobs and professional networking platform, apna, it was said that participation of women from tier 2 cities in the gig economy increased by 34 per cent.

The report found that there was an overall 36 per cent YoY (year on year) hike in women users on the platform from tier 1, tier 2 and beyond cities, while 34 per cent women users on the platform took jobs as drivers, delivery partners, lab technicians, factory workers, etc. Companies like Paytm, Zomato, Rapido, and Swiggy among others, have been among the top partners posting maximum jobs for women to diversify their workplaces, it said.

Ajoy Thomas, VP and Business Head – Staffing, TeamLease Services said, “More women are entering the industry due to the continuous rising demand from e-commerce companies, which are setting up fulfilment centres, coupled with corporates looking to improve their gender diversity. Women hold a third of the sorting, packing, loading, and customer support jobs this year, up from about a tenth even three-four years ago.”

Rise in Gig Economy during Pandemic

The pandemic has prompted multiple companies to adopt flexible work cultures, with gig workers finding new opportunities in nearly every industry.

If statistics are to be believed, India has over 15 million freelancers working on technology projects. According to ASSOCHAM, India’s gig economy is projected to reach USD 455 billion by 2024, growing at his CAGR of 17 per cent. Nearly 60 per cent of tech industry organisations are now investing in gig workers, and 97 per cent of these companies want to keep gig workers at their current level or hire more gig workers .

Dinesh Gulati, COO, IndiaMART said, “For the young population of India, freelancing has become a lucrative alternative and helped them unleash their aspirations, banking on the recent fast-clipped emergence of freelance online platforms. The trend of gig workers which was initiated by start-ups has now become a new norm among organisations of all sizes and scales.”

Budget role towards Gig Workers

In the union budget 2021, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced allocation of Rs 150 crore for the national database of unorganised workers. Also a proposal was made for launching a portal to collect relevant information about gig economy workers, including those working in construction, among others. Sitharaman had said that, for the first time globally, social security benefits will extend to gig and platform workers.

For the year 2023 too, it is expected that the union budget brings relief to the lower and middle-income classes in regard to income tax. Also, provisions and policies on social security, healthcare, etc are required for the gig workers.

Avadhesh Dixit, CHRO, Acuity Knowledge Partners said, “The annual budgetary exercise is one of the most awaited regulatory updates, especially for the salaried class. Given the high-inflation environment, the income tax exemption or modification would provide some relief to lower and middle-class income earners, along with long-term benefits like healthcare, superannuation, and retirement benefits from the government in the upcoming budget. There is also a need to simplify the capital gains structure for different asset classes and different durations. With the increasing deployment of gig workers by a number of sectors, it is time for the government to initiate discussions on extending provisions such as social security to gig workers. It is equally critical to build consensus among important stakeholders on this subject before a concrete announcement is made, to ensure their acceptance.”