New technologies and the gig economy

New technologies are changing how we organize our societies and our lives. Often called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and broadly understood as the emergence and adoption of new and often disruptive technologies that combine elements of the digital, material and biological, this shift both poses challenges and creates opportunities for social protection.

Examples of these challenges and opportunities can be seen in changing labour markets and the increasing use of automation, where technology can contribute to creating employment relationships that do not take health and safety or social security considerations into account, threatening long-established models of social protection. New technology is increasingly being applied to broader areas of social policy, such as in the telecommunication-based provision of health care and education services, and the distribution of social benefits. These issues all have clear implications for safeguarding human rights and for promoting a human rights-based approach to sustainable development.



Photo by Sven Scheuermeier via Unsplash


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Innovative approaches for ensuring universal social protection for the future of work

Social protection systems around the world face challenges to provide full and effective coverage for workers in all forms of employment, including those in “new” forms of employment. While some emerging work and employment arrangements may provide greater flexibility for workers and employers, they may lead to significant gaps in social protection coverage, at a […]

Beyond Misclassification: The Digital Transformation of Work

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Beclouded Work in Historical Perspective

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Uber, Taskrabbit, & Co: Platforms as Employers? Rethinking the Legal Analysis of Crowdwork

One of the key assumptions underpinning the rise of ‘crowdsourced work’ – from transport apps including Uber to online platforms such as Amazon’s Mechanical Turk – is the assertion put forward by most platforms that crowdworkers are self-employed, independent contractors. As a result, individuals might find themselves without recourse to worker-protective norms, from minimum wage and working time law […]

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In November 2005, Amazon launched Mechanical Turk (AMT), a website where “requesters” can post tasks, called “Human Intelligence Tasks” or “HITs”, for workers to complete for pay. Workers are required to agree that they are independent contractors, not employees, and that they are therefore not entitled to minimum wage or other employment benefits. Requesters post […]

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Introduction: Crowdsourcing, the Gig-Economy and the Law

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