Towards fair work in the gig economy

Fair treatment at work is not the norm for everyone. This is especially the case within the gig economy, where secure employment is lacking and trade unions have little influence. Now, the WZB and the Oxford Internet Institute intend to study the gig economy in a joint research project in order to develop fairness ratings for digital platforms that are used as a lever to improve working conditions. For this purpose, a Fairwork Secretariat is to be established at the WZB. It will collaborate closely with the Oxford team.

The project is directed by Martin Krzywdzinski, head of the WZB research group Globalization, Work and Production, and Mark Graham (University of Oxford). Fairwork is an action-research project. A scientific analysis of the gig economy is complemented by monitoring and benchmarking of platforms with a focus on public outreach and intervention. The aim is to promote good platforms and pressure bad ones through public interference. The project was launched in India and South Africa, but is currently expanding to other countries.