Economic think tank NCAER on Monday suggested that food delivery platform operators should ensure their gig workers register themselves on the e-Shram portal, and also help them enrol in PDS, Ayusham Bharat scheme and Atal Penson Yojana.
Noting that the government is the best medium to provide social security to gig workers, the NCAER study also said platform companies should provide additional revenue to the government to finance the social security in a centralised fashion. According to the NCAER’s report on ‘Socio-economic Impact Assessment of Food Delivery Platform Workers’, 61.9 per cent of the workers received rations, only 12.2 per cent of them have an Ayushman Bharat card, 7.1 per cent are registered on the e-Shram portal and 4 per cent have the Atal Pension Yojana.
Also read: JioCinema has now become India’s largest digital entertainment destination: Mukesh Ambani at RIL AGM
“Platform companies should ensure that workers are enrolled on the e-Shram portal and help them enrol on PDS, Ayusham Bharat/State Health Scheme and Atal Penson Yojana at the time of enrolling them,” said the study sponsored by Prosus. It, however, said 100 per cent of the delivery workers had accident insurance. National Council of Applied Economic Research (NCAER) said it conducted a telephone survey of 924 food delivery platform workers from one particular food delivery platform spread across 28 cities.
In terms of current job status, of the 924 workers in NCAER’s sample, 57.8 per cent were active, working on the platform at the time of the survey, and 42.2 per cent of workers were inactive/exit (not working for the platform). The average daily hours worked by a long-shift worker in the sample was 10.8 hours and by a short-shift worker it was 5.2 hours. It further said a majority of workers was male (99 per cent). Half of the workers in the sample were from Tier 1 cities and the other half from Tier 2/Tier 3 cities. “The active long-shift food delivery platform worker on average works 27.7 per cent longer than the average urban youth male worker, but generates 59.6 per cent more (gross) income than him.
“However, after accounting for fuel costs, the increase in income reduces to 5 per cent,” the report said. Further, platform workers were earning lower (Rs 20,744 per month) than their peer group (Rs 22,494 per month) covered in the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) 2021 22. Active short-shift workers earned about 42 per cent of their total incomes from the food delivery platforms in nominal terms in 2022. The average nominal earnings of active short-shift workers was Rs 12,149 per month in 2022. Their nominal income from non-platform work was estimated to be Rs 17,000, the report said.
The study also said average real monthly income of food delivery platform workers has come down between 2019 and 2022. This, it added, is primarily due to inflation. According to the report, the platform companies act as a shock absorber during episodes of unemployment. Nine per cent of respondents cited job loss as a reason to join the platform, whereas 31.6 per cent said that they were unemployed for 5.4 months before joining the platform. Another key finding of the study is that the food delivery platform sector is characterised by very high attrition rates. The opportunity to earn higher income or additional income is the major reason for workers to both join and exit platforms, it added.