Results for:

The rise of the “just-in-time workforce”: On-demand work, crowdwork and labour protection in the “gig-economy”

The so-called “gig-economy” has been growing exponentially in numbers and importance in recent years but its impact on labour rights has been largely overlooked. Forms of work in the “gig-economy” include “crowdwork”, and “work-on-demand via apps”, under which the demand and supply of working activities is matched online or via mobile apps. These forms of work can provide a good match of job opportunities and allow flexible working schedules. However, they can also pave the way to a severe commodification of work. This paper discusses the implications of this commodification and advocates the full recognition of activities in the gig-economy as “work”. It shows how the gig-economy is not a separate silo of the economy and that is part of broader phenomena such as casualization and informalisation of work and the spread of non-standard forms of employment. It then analyses the risks associated to these activities with regard to Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work and addresses the issue of misclassification of the employment status of workers in the gig economy. Current relevant trends are thus examined, such as the emergence of forms of self-organisation of workers. Finally, some policy proposals are critically analysed.

T20 2018 Summit panel to discuss The Future of Work in the Global South

As part of the T20 2018 Summit that will take place in Buenos Aires on September 16-18, FoWiGS representatives will participate in the panel "The Future of Work in the Global South". The panel will bring current research and relevant stakeholders to discuss how work is changing in the age of AI and the emergence of digital labor platforms, and how different stakeholders (workers, governments, civil society, industry) are responding to these changes. Panel participants will be Hernan Galperin (USC), Urvashi Aneja (Tandem Research), Gastón Podesta (Accenture), and Christoph Ernst (ILO). Ben Petrazzini (IDRC) will moderate the discussion.

Geographical Discrimination in the Gig Economy

Online labor platforms were expected to flatten labor markets by reducing the importance of worker location and, as a result, promote employment and wage growth in developing countries based on cost differentials. We test these propositions using transactional data from Nubelo, a large online labor platform for Spanish-speaking employers/freelance workers.

Income security in the on-demand economy: Findings and policy lessons from a survey of crowdworkers

This article assesses the validity of many of the assumptions made about work in the on-demand economy and analyses whether proposals advanced for improving workers’ income security are sufficient for remedying current shortcomings. It draws on findings from a survey of crowdworkers conducted in late 2015 on the Amazon Mechanical Turk and Crowdflower platforms on workers’ employment patterns, work histories, and financial security. Based on this information, it provides an analysis of crowdworkers’ economic dependence on the platform, including the share of workers who depend on crowdwork as their main source of income, as well as their working conditions, the problems they encounter while crowdworking and their overall income security. Drawing on these findings, the article recommends an alternative way of organizing work that can improve the income security of crowdworkers as well as the overall efficiency and productivity of crowdwork.

Strengthening social protection for the future of work

Over the past several decades, there has been a growing diversification in working arrangements in G20 countries. This diversification reflects profound changes in the world of work, namely globalization and technological advances, including digitalization, that have facilitated the creation and dispersion of production networks across the globe. These transformations, coupled with the rise of artificial intelligence and robotics, the growth of the “platform economy” and subsequent casualization of labour markets, have raised questions about the future of work. In particular, they have also raised questions about how social protection systems, including social insurance and tax-financed mechanisms, can adapt to these changes.