The Supreme Court has sought the response of the Central government on a plea by gig workers praying for social security benefits from employers including food delivery apps Zomato and Swiggy and taxi aggregator apps, Ola and Uber [Indian Federation of App based Transport Workers v. Union of India]. .A Bench led by Justice L Nageswara Rao issued notice on the plea which claimed that gig workers are in an employment relationship with the aggregators, and are consequently covered under the definition of “workman” as per social security legislation..The petition filed by Indian Federation of App based Transport Workers v. Union of India and by two individuals, Tulasi Jagdish Babu (an Ola driver) and one Kaushar Khan submitted that they are unorganised workers under the Unorganised Workers’ Social Welfare Security Act, 2008, and are therefore entitled to social security.It was contended that the State’s failure to register them under the Act is violative of their fundamental rights, especially since the legislation has been enacted pursuant to Directive Principles of State Policy with a view to ensure basic human dignity of the workers.“Denial of social security to the said “gig workers” and the “platform workers” has resulted in their exploitation through forced labour within the meaning of Article 23 of the Constitution. The right to livelihood includes the right to work on decent and fair conditions of work," the plea said.The petitioners stated that the the respondent companies have been claiming that there exists no contract of employment between them and the petitioners, and that their relationship with the petitioners are in nature of partnership."If such a claim were to be accepted, this would be inconsistent with the purpose of social-welfare legislations," the petitioners submitted.In this regard, it was claimed that respondent companies exercise complete supervision and control over the manner and method of work with those who are allowed to register on the apps."The mere fact that their employers call themselves “aggregators” and enter into the so-called “partnership agreements” does not take away the fact that there exists a jural relationship of employer and employee; master and servant and worker within the meaning of all applicable laws," the petition said.Further, it was submitted that the fixed-term employment contracts are in the nature of ‘take it or leave it’ and the workmen have no choice but to sign the said contracts for their livelihood.“The contracts are a mere devise to disguise the nature of relationship, which is de-jure, and de-facto relationship of employer and worker being a contract of employment.”The petitioners also relied on the judgment of the UK Supreme Court which had held that Uber drivers are "workers" entitled to minimum wage, paid annual leave and other workers’ rights.Senior Counsel Indira Jaising appeared for the petitioners.