Tuesday, July 10, 2018
Oxford University's Jeremias Prassl has just published what seems to be the first book by a law professor analyzing the gig economy and its relationship to international precepts of modern employment law. Jeremias Prassl, Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy (Oxford University Press 2018).
I'm on my second read-through, and one won't want to miss this item. It's beautifully written and edited, with revelations on most every page.
After describing the current landscape of the gig economy, Prassl asks, "Can we protect consumers and workers without stifling innovation?" To this query he replies, "As courts and governments around the world begin to grapple with the gig economy, Humans as a Service explores the challenges of on-demand work, and explains how we can ensure decent working conditions, protect consumers, and foster innovation. Employment law plays a central role in leveling the playing field: gigs, tasks, and rides are work -- and should be regulated as such."
Just a couple months before Prassl's book came out, I completed my own view of the situation as I see it from Pennsylvania. I have posted my two papers, presented last month at my agency's educational seminar in Hershey, at www.davetorrey.info. I have appended to each paper a bibliography for those who wish to do further reading. These papers were largely inspired by the excellent January 2018 seminar on the topic convened by the National Academy of Social Insurance, “Nonstandard Work and Social Insurance: Designing Risk Protections for a Changing Workforce.” Videos of that conference, and all the presentations, are available at https://www.nasi.org/civicrm/event/info?reset=1&id=228.