home based workers n.
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Home Based Workers

Home Based Workers

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Home Based Workers

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  1. Home Based Workers Ratna M. Sudarshan Director, Institute of Social Studies Trust, New Delhi July 29, 2009

  2. Defining home based workers • Definition based on place of work • Can be self employed – independent employers or own account workers • Or Dependent sub-contract workers

  3. How significant is home based work in India?

  4. Share in total employment • 1999-2000: NSS Employment and Unemployment Survey – 8.2 million of whom 4.8 were women (58%) • Total HBW - 7.4 % of unorganized non-agricultural workers

  5. Non agricultural workers in own dwellings

  6. Table 1: Percentage Share of Non Agricultural Workers Working in Own Dwellings[1]1999-2000 to 2004-05(Source: Report of the Independent Group on Home-based Worker 2008 - Appendix Table 3, NSS report No 519 Part I, 61st Round, NSS Report 460, Chapter 4, Table 10,55th Round)

  7. HBW in Delhi • ISST Survey, Delhi -2006 • Men: 1.6%, women 1.5 %

  8. Locating home based workers in the economy – globalisation, informality and home based work

  9. Globalization and informality • Informal employment not a creation of globalization: however there has been increase in last few years • Can distinguish between ‘old’ and ‘new’ forms: • ‘old’ – crafts, home based production of bidi, agarbathi, etc; • vending, services like domestic workers; • skills acquired within family and entry facilitated by family/ community • some segments have contracted and others expanded with economic growth

  10. ‘New’ informal employment – • Outsourcing, subcontracting, contractual employment linked to formal enterprises • Workers either shifted from regular to contract work or have had to accept informal work although the ‘normal’ expectation would have been regular employment • This group can include skilled/ well educated workers; reflects a pattern of growth in which decisions to expand output are de-linked from decisions to expand regular employment ‘Old’ - a group that has never had benefits; ‘new’- a group that has lost actual (or potential) benefits.

  11. ‘New’ informal employment and HBW • Why should new work opportunites take the form of HBW? • Social and cultural norms continue to mediate decisions regarding work – whether or not to work, which work and where

  12. Social group, religion and HBW • Strong overlap for traditional craft/ trades – weavers, zarizardosi: craft learnt in families • New groups get drawn in at times of need/ expanding demand – especially when skill can be easily learnt – agarbathi, beedi • HBW in newer trades – lower income groups

  13. HBW: concentrations • HBW found in wide range of industry; but largely concentrated in some industries • Further concentrated into clusters • Examples of Clusters • Weaving (Chanderi), garments • (Ahmedabad), agarbathi (Bangalore) • HNSA-ISST study of social protection for HBW

  14. Examples of HBW clusters • Patna, Bihar: chappal making; Ravidas community (traditional Hindu) + few Muslims • Flute making – Muslims • Gaya: agarbathi • Beedi: largely drawn from SC/ST/Other backward tribes, most backward castes • Punjab: Phulkari • Bareilly, UP: zari-zardosi; applique work, Rampur; box making, Lucknow

  15. Bottom end of value chain: invisibility

  16. Box making at Lucknow Mithai Shop Mithai Shop Mithai Shop Raw materials Card boards/paper Contractor + Machineries + Family labour Printing Of linds Home Based labour Factory based Labour (on piece rate basis) Home based Labour (Piece rate) Home Based Family Labour

  17. BIDI SECTOR Raw materials supply From neighbouring states Bidi Factory Owner Rolled Bidis Contractor Factory Roasting in oven Labelling packing Sub - contractor HBW for rolling Distributor Rolled Bidis Export Domestic

  18. HBW: is this full time work?

  19. Table 8: Daily Hours of Work (In Hours) Source: ISST-HNI 2007

  20. Table 9: Part of the day in which this work is done – Zari Zardosi Source: ISST-HNI 2007

  21. ‘when do you usually work’?

  22. Home Based Work and the Family • Ability to adjust work timings • Role as ‘workers’ overlaps and is difficult to separate from role as ‘carer’ and in ‘provisioning for family’ • In traditional crafts, there has been a historical evolution from home based work for own or family use to production for the market – attitude remains ambivalent

  23. Sources of vulnerability and areas for action/ policy support

  24. Sources of vulnerability of home based workers Nature of Work: • Seasonality, low wages • Uncertainty of work/ fluctuating annual income • Lack of access to credit, technology, skill • Difficulty in anticipating growth trajectory • Health risks from work high, access to facilities low • Limited access to any social security (health, old age, maternity) • Dependence on contractor

  25. Factors further enhancing vulnerability: Sources of income • Dependence on one source of income is associated with higher levels of vulnerability -Home based workers with high input of unpaid family work -Where men and women adult members of a household are engaged in the same home based work, seen to be more vulnerable, as compared to households where adult men and women have different sources of income. Seen in case of zari workers, beedi workers(NCAER 2001)

  26. Children in home based work • Estimate of total time spent by children in home based work as a ratio to total time spent on this by the household (no allowance for differences in productivity, etc) • The average contribution, for three sectors (zardosi, bidi, agarbathi) together stands at over 13 %, ranging from a low of 8% in Bidi to 17% in zardosi work. (NCAER 2001) NEXT GENERATION

  27. Average Contribution of Children (in hours) to HBW Note: these calculations are based on data on the average number of persons in a household working in hbw and the average no. of hours spent by each person. NEXT GENERATION

  28. Poverty + transmission of poverty to next generation • Non-enrolment in school/ early drop out – illiteracy • Lack of alternative routes to acquiring skills (only 5% of population has training as per NCEUS) • Family can impart known skills/ existing networks • Early entry into work combined with limited opportunities for part time further education

  29. Policy support and action

  30. Self reported Key Needs (ISST-HNSA) • Needs: • Agarbatti: Loans, Housing, Health Insurance • Garments: More Work, Housing, Loans • Weaving: More Work, Loans, Housing • HNSA – Advocacy, visibility and policy framework for home based workers; sharing best practices (such as SEWA health insurance)

  31. Summing up: HBW and livelihood concerns • HH income influenced by availability of work (often seasonal); piece rate payments; timeliness of payment; cost of raw materials purchased by HBW/ thread, transport; storage concerns • Significance in family income can be up to 100% • Organising for recognition, registration and access to legal protection as workers • Access to skill upgradation, marketing, mobility along value chain

  32. Summing up: HBW and livelihood concerns • Development trajectory varies • Expanding, constant, declining • Need to view current situation + expected trajectory while assessing needs and appropriate policy directions

  33. Thank you