Employment rights and labour protection in the on-demand economy
This research proposals investigates the impact of the so-called "on-demand","gig" or "platform" economy on labour protection. This includes forms of work executed online via platforms such as the Amazon Mechanical Turk and Clickworker or working activities channelled by companies such as Uber or Deliveroo. These forms of work are rapidly spreading in many countries, affecting both developing and developed economies. They provide firms and customers with flexibility and speedy transactions and offer job opportunities to workers. At the same time, the challenges they poses to labour protection and the traditional categories of employment law are countless. Workers in these forms of work are normally classified as “freelancers” or independent contractors. This results in them being excluded from the rights associated with the employment status, such as minimum wages, working hours’ limits, specific social security as well as collective bargaining coverage and freedom of association in trade unions, something that can give rise to deficits in their working conditions. This proposal intends to investigate the implications of these phenomena on labour protection, examining the on-demand economy in the context of broader trends emerging in modern labour markets such as the spread of non-standard forms of work. It accompanies the legal investigation of these trends with insights from other social sciences and from a survey of the workers employed in these forms of work.