How to make Platform Economy fairer for workers?

Can the Economy be Fair? Is the Gig Economy fair for workers?14

The following criteria have been proposed by the rights groups for making the gig/platform economy fairer for workers:

  1. Workers should not be misclassified as self-employed if they are employees in practice;
  2. Pay should at the very least comply with minimum wage regulations in the worker’s location;  
  3. Workers should have a legally binding way to make their needs and desires heard to platform operators, through union membership, collective bargaining, and, in countries with such structures, works councils and co-determination rights;
  4. Code of conduct: In the absence of collective bargaining agreements, platforms should establish clear codes of conduct for members, including published procedures for workers to raise concerns; and the platforms should demonstrate enforcement of those codes;
  5. Worker evaluations and ratings should not be based on non-payment rates and workers should be given reasons for any negative ratings.
  6. Workers should be able to contest non-payment, negative evaluations, qualification test outcomes, accusations of code of conduct violations, and account closures;
  7. Platform terms – including the terms for payment, work evaluation, and dispute resolution – should be presented in a human readable format that is clear and concise;

Countries also need to adapt their social protection system to include platform economy workers who are generally regarded self employed so far.

  1. Adapt social insurance mechanisms to cover workers in all forms of employment, independently of the type of contract and by lowering the contribution thresholds;
  2. Use technology to simplify contribution and benefit payments

14. This part is based on “Fifteen Criteria for a Fairer Gig Economy” by M. Six Silberman of the IG Metall and “Digital labour platforms and the future of work: Towards decent work in the online world” by ILO (2018)