Fundamental Labour Rights, Platform Work and Human-Rights Protection of Non-Standard Workers

Forthcoming, Labour, Business and Human Rights Law, Edited by Janice R. Bellace and Beryl ter Haar, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Bocconi Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3125866

22 Pages Posted: 28 Feb 2018 Last revised: 29 Apr 2019

See all articles by Valerio De Stefano

Valerio De Stefano

KU Leuven - Faculty of Law

Antonio Aloisi

IE Law School, IE University; European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW)

Date Written: February 18, 2018

Abstract

The spread of non-standard forms of employment in industrialised and developing countries over the last decades has prompted an extensive debate on how to reshape labour regulation to accommodate these new formats. However, limited attention has been devoted to the access of non-standard workers to fundamental labour rights. This chapter aims at reorienting the debate towards these neglected dimensions of labour regulation. In particular, it focuses on the risks affecting work in the so-called ‘gig’ or ‘platform’ economy, since the relative novelty of these forms of work may obscure the difficulties these workers face in enjoying fundamental labour rights. Platform workers, together with casual workers and some self-employed workers not only are more exposed to violations of fundamental rights but are also often excluded from the legal scope of application of these rights, which are sometimes reserved to workers in an employment relationship. This is particularly true for collective labour rights, as self-employed workers, including sham self-employed persons and platform workers, who are often deprived of full access to the rights of freedom of association and collective bargaining. This happens, for instance, when their collective activities are found to be in breach of antitrust regulation. This chapter maintains that preventing self-employed workers who do not own a genuine and significant business organisation from bargaining collectively is at odds with the recognition of the right to collective bargaining as a human and a fundamental right. Consequently, it argues that only self-employed individuals who do not provide ‘labour’ but instead provide services using an independent, genuine and significant business organisation that they own and manage can have their right to bargain collectively restricted.

Keywords: Gig-Economy, Platform Economy, On-Demand Economy, Casual Work, Uber, Uberisation, Non-Standard Employment, Fundamental Labour Rights, Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work

JEL Classification: J21, J42, J51, J58

Suggested Citation

De Stefano, Valerio and Aloisi, Antonio, Fundamental Labour Rights, Platform Work and Human-Rights Protection of Non-Standard Workers (February 18, 2018). Forthcoming, Labour, Business and Human Rights Law, Edited by Janice R. Bellace and Beryl ter Haar, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.; Bocconi Legal Studies Research Paper No. 3125866. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3125866 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3125866

Valerio De Stefano (Contact Author)

KU Leuven - Faculty of Law ( email )

Tiensestraat 41
Leuven, B-3000
Belgium

Antonio Aloisi

IE Law School, IE University ( email )

Madrid
Spain

European University Institute - Department of Law (LAW) ( email )

Via dei Roccettini, 9
San Domenico di Fiesole, 50014
Italy
(+39)-055-4685-573 (Phone)

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