Social security for unorganized sector workers and related issue

Social security

Social security for unorganized sector workers and the related issue

There are different terminologies used to interchangeably signify the unorganized sector like informal sector, informal economy, and even informal labour or unorganised labour. According to the National Commission on Labour; unorganised labours are those who have not been able to organise themselves in pursuit of common objectives on account of constraints like casual nature of employment, ignorance and illiteracy, small and scattered size of establishments and position of power enjoyed by employers because of the nature of the industry. National Commission on Labour also listed ‘illustrative’ categories of unorganised labour: contract labour including construction workers; casual labour; labour employed in small-scale industry; handloom/power-loom workers; beedi and cigar workers: employees in shops and commercial establishments; sweepers and scavengers; workers in tanneries; tribal labour; and ‘other unprotected labour’. In India, the unorganised sector makes up 90% of India’s workforce and contributes to about 45% of the economy.
The unorganised sector faces basic constraints such as a) casual nature of employment; b) ignorance and illiteracy; c) small size of establishments with low capital investment per person employed; d) scattered nature of establishments, and e) superior strength of the employer operating singly or in combination. However, the major difficulty starts from identifying or defining the unorganised sector itself. There is no a single or primary criterion by which the sector could be defined. For example, in the Trade Unions (Amendment) Act 2001 the explanation in clause 8 states, ‘unorganised sector’ means “any sector which the appropriate government may, by notification in the official gazette, specify”. The Unorganised Workers’ Social Security Act 2008 defines Unorganised Sector and Unorganised Workers as ‘Unorganised Sector’ means “an enterprise owned by individuals or self-employed workers and engaged in production or sale of goods or providing service of any kind whatsoever, and where the enterprise employs workers, the number of such workers is less than ten” and ‘Unorganised worker’ means a “home-based worker, self-employed worker or a wage worker in the unorganised sector and includes a worker in the organised sector who is not covered by any of the acts mentioned in schedule II of the Act”. Evidently, the sector has not been identified uniformly and appropriately by the legislators, that acts as the major fall-back in lack of social security in the unorganised sector.
Source: BW People

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