Bojan Urdarević

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Faculty of Law, University of Kragujevac

PERIODICS

PLATFORM WORK AND NEW FORMS OF WORK IN THE DIGITAL ECONOMY

Digitalization is changing labour market relations by calling into question the concept of a classic employment relationship that relies heavily on a bilateral employment contract of indefinite duration. Also, on the other hand, digitalization leads to a significant polarization in the labour market between highly qualified professionals, for whose work there is a growing need, and low-skilled workers, who face increasing obstacles when looking for employment. Platform work is an atypical, new form of work, made possible by digital technology and characterized by, most often, a tripartite legal relationship between the digital platform, the platform worker and the client. In this paper we have identified two general types of platforms. First one, which are serving as tool for matching jobseekers with clients, and the second one which are not only matching, but also managing the working process. Anyway, digital platforms should stop charging any fees or costs for job finding services, unless those fees or costs have been approved by a competent authority. This principle has served as a central tenet during the development of regulations governing private employment services. In this paper, we emphasized that digital labour platforms often disregard this principle, by offering their users the possibility of increasing their visibility or ensuring better functionality of the platform in exchange for monetary payments. The paper analyzes the new forms of employment, that came because of social, economic, political and technological changes around the globe. Many of these are quite different from traditional work and characterized by unconventional work patterns. At this moment, none of the mentioned new forms of employment is directly regulated by domestic labor legislation, so there is a lot of room for their regulation in order to make them more attractive for employers and employees. Finally, there are many regulatory challenges related to platform work on both, national and international level. The main issue is the question of classification of those workers, more precisely, are they employees or self-employed. Related to that, there is also a problem with digital platform algorithms, which are not always transparent as they should be. The scope od employment protection still largely depends on the legal definition of an employee. Yet, with the emergence of the platform work and other forms of work, the employment relation status must be evaluated with regard to the current social and economic situation. In any case, it is imperative that all workers, despite their employments status, are covered by fundamental international labour standards.

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