‘80% of informal workers ready to take a 20% cut in salary for benefits, security that formal jobs offer’

Our Bureau

Around 80 per cent of informal workers anticipate their employers offering them the assurance of Employee State Insurance (ESI) and other medical benefits, according to Quess Corp, a staffing and managed outsourcing services provider. The report is based on interviews with 4,179 respondents of all ages across 14 cities.

The expectation of ESI is even higher for the younger, informal employees (83 per cent — 18 to 25 years old, and 81 per cent — 26 to 35 years old).

Furthermore, 79 per cent of respondents claim they would compromise on 20 per cent or more of their salary if it provided security and benefits equivalent to their formal counterparts (78 per cent). The report reveals that a majority of workers are still without any social security coverage, and their aspirations to move into an inclusive, secure lifestyle are taking shape.

Social security

“Our current laws enable coverage of social security benefits like EPFO, ESIC only for organisations that have more than 10 or 20 employees. This leaves behind a huge class of citizens that are not benefitted by these laws,” said Lohit Bhatia, President of Workforce Management, Quess Corp.

Additionally, informal employees are prioritising factors such as prestige and career potential over wages today. Moreover, 97 percent of those informally employed agree that they have a better chance of improving their lifestyle and that of their families with a formal job as opposed to one without a contract.

The survey reveals that 84 per cent of the informal respondents agree that technology has helped create more awareness about the advantages of formal employment.

Furthermore, it was found that 70 per cent of respondents employed informally have leveraged tech portals such as job hunting portals, online news portals and company websites to search for information about job security and benefits any prospective employer offers.

While both genders are looking beyond wage rates when assessing professional opportunities, the priorities of women working in the informal sector are skewed towards health and security, while men are more inclined towards career building.

The report found that 63 per cent of women claim that they would be ‘very likely’ to compromise on a higher salary in lieu of health benefits and a formal agreement, compared with 28 per cent of men.