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  • Writer's picture2022 Global Voices Fellow

Protecting vulnerable gig workers and better understanding the gig economy

By Akhil Bonu, UNSW, OECD, 2020

Akhil is a UNSW CO-OP student studying a Bachelor of Business Information Systems. His Policy Paper discusses Protecting Vulnerable Gig Workers and Better Understanding The Gig Economy.

Executive Summary

The gig economy is continuing to grow at an unprecedented rate. It is estimated that gig platforms will raise global GDP by almost $3 trillion USD by 2025 and, in Australia alone, there are already approximately 1,680,000 gig workers (AI Group Workforce Development, 2016). Despite the significant size and impact of the gig economy, workers lack a dedicated labour definition that accounts for their specific context and unique job requirements, allowing gig platforms to potentially exploit legal loopholes. This paper sheds light on the ways to mitigate the exploitation of gig workers, particularly improving legal protections. It proposes developing a new labour definition for gig workers to provide stronger protections, using criteria that will also benefit employers. These recommendations aim to strike a balance between worker protections and the substantial economic benefits of gig work.

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