Informal workers

The Indian workforce is characterized by a small formal / organized sector of the economy and a huge informal / unorganized sector, both in agriculture and non-agriculture.

Employment in the informal sector is characterized by seasonality of employment, scattered workplace, no employer-employee relationship, poor working conditions, irregular and often long working hours, low-productivity and poor earnings, exposed to various forms of insecurity and health hazards, limited access to credit, legal protection and government support and lack of social security.

The term ‘unorganized worker’ has been defined under the Unorganized Workers Social Security Act, 2008 as “a home-based worker, self-employed worker or a wage worker in the organized sector and includes a worker in the organized sector who is not covered by any of the Acts.

Therefore unorganized workers are not limited to those who are working in the unorganized sector but also include such workers who are working in the formal sector without any social security cover.


Working Peoples' Charter process is an initiative to bring together all organizations working with, and organizing people dependent on the informal sector.

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