Challenges and impact of the gig economy

  • Amit Joshi Gandhi Memorial Intercontinental School, Jakarta 10630, Indonesia
  • Saharsh Jain Gandhi Memorial Intercontinental School, Jakarta 10630, Indonesia
  • Puneet Kumar Gupta The ICFAI University, Dehradun 248011, India
Keywords: employment; exploitation; gig economy; workers

Abstract

The dynamic landscape of global business, fueled by technological innovations, intense competition, and evolving consumer expectations, has prompted businesses to undergo significant restructuring. In response to these challenges, innovative business structures, particularly the gig economy, have emerged as a transformative force. The gig economy, facilitated by digital platforms, has redefined traditional work models, allowing individuals to engage in temporary and flexible jobs across various industries. While providing flexibility for workers and cost-effectiveness for businesses, the gig economy has an uncertainty of jobs for workers, their rights, and the need for regulatory frameworks. This paper explores the evolution of the gig economy and its effect on the job environment, labour policies, and regulations. It highlights the advantages of gig work, such as flexibility and job expansion, while also addressing the challenges, including job insecurity and the potential for social and ethical dumping. The role of gig platforms in reshaping labour markets, particularly in empowering women in certain regions, is discussed. The paper emphasizes the necessity of adapting employment laws to accommodate the unique nature of gig work, considering factors like control exertion and triangular relationships. Moreover, the paper delves into issues of discrimination faced by gig workers based on gender or race, both domestically and internationally. It recognizes the potential benefits of outsourcing gig work in developing countries but underscores the ethical concerns of “ethics dumping” and the need for safeguards. The impact on workers’ well-being, social integration, and the lack of protection under employment laws are discussed as challenges arising from the detachment of gig workers from conventional work environments. In response to these challenges, the paper examines existing policy initiatives, such as the European Union’s efforts to regulate gig work, emphasizing the importance of building a skilled workforce and addressing concerns related to platform work. However, it identifies gaps in addressing ethical challenges, particularly in the realm of algorithmic systems and the need for comprehensive measures to protect the rights of gig workers’ rights thus focusing on their welfare. The paper advocates for a holistic approach to address the ethical challenges posed by the expanding gig economy. It calls for a balance between flexibility and ethical considerations, envisioning a gig economy that not only meets market demands but also prioritizes fairness, equity, and the well-being of its workforce.

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Published
2024-04-03
Section
Article