As a young kid, when I came across the saying “Something is better than Nothing” the “Ambitionist” in me refused to believe that I had to accept anything lesser than “Everything”. After all, the opposite of Nothing is Everything right? But as you grow up, you understand the power of the word “Something”. I think as a country which is growing “fastest” than ever we need to look at the recent move to extend the facility of hiring people on fixed term employment to all sectors, in the same light.
As per different calculations, India has about 470-500 Million employed population and of this only 37 Million (approx. 8%) is organized. Even if we take the most positive outlook today, the number for formal or should I say “traditional, Full-time” Jobs would at the most reach out to 60-70 Million. And honestly though the Government should do lot of things which have gone slow in the past 2-3 years, its is not going to move the entire 90% of the workforce to the other side. In such a situation, the smarter move is to think beyond traditional job models. The new change to Industrial Establishment (Standing Order), 1946, is a move in this direction.
The best thing is for the first time, we are matching pace with the rest of the world, which going gaga over “Gig” way of work. We can argue to death that “permanent” jobs are better (which they undoubtedly are), but are we sure that the new generation even wants these jobs? The more I meet the “new workforce” that will join the world of work in next 5 years, their priorities are completely different.
They are looking for “Purpose” not “Pension”, they are looking for “Freedom at work” instead of “Freebies at work”. When this is the reality, I personally feel that a move like above, which will provide benefits to the “Gig workers” is the only way to go. We need to break the myth that only “permanent” jobs get counted under “Formal” employment and encourage our workforce as well the employers to accept this as a way of work. Providing these employees, a social security net is a logical next step and I truly hope that we act on that too as soon as we can. Estimations show that one in every four gig workers globally is from India, if we do not take care of them it will be a lost opportunity.
And as we say – Any Job is better than No Job – and Any employee is better than No employee; it is a win-win for both supply and demand side of talent. I know we are late in approaching this issue and it is nowhere enough, but at least we have a start.
Source: PeopleStrong Data, EY Report on Future of Jobs, Government data
Co- authored : Pankaj Bansal, CEO, PeopleStrong and Kamakshi Pant, Functional Leader Marketing, PeopleStrong