Publications

A New Era of Social Protection for the Diversified Workforce

In an era defined by the rapid evolution of work structures and the rise of the gig economy, the need for a robust and adaptable social protection framework has never been more pressing. Step into the realm of transformative ideas and visionary strategies as we embark on a compelling exploration of ‘A New Era of Social Protection for the Diversified Workforce.’

This article delves into the comprehensive insights and forward-thinking recommendations presented in the illuminating RW report, meticulously crafted to address the intricate challenges faced by today’s diverse workforce. Uncover the innovative policies and inclusive measures that promise to redefine the future of work, guaranteeing every individual’s well-being and ensuring a resilient foundation for the workforce of tomorrow. Join us as we navigate the transformative landscape of social protection, fostering a more equitable and sustainable environment for all those shaping the modern labor landscape.

Securing the Future – Social Safety Net for All

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What should constitute an adequate minimum level of social protection and how can we finance it?

The 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights proclaimed that “everyone, as a member of society, has the right to social security”. Seventy-five years later, it is still not the case. The current assessment of social protection is mostly based on a traditional labour market, which does not reflect the changes seen in most recent years. Among such are the growing prevalence of self-employment & various flexible work arrangements.

Consequently, workers experience fluctuating income and encounter limited access to socio-economic rights, including social security. The inadequacy of existing measures were even more highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving many workers in precarious situations, struggling to make ends meet, and facing heightened risks (Eurofound 2021; ILO 2021a).

The following guide sets out to disentangle: 

  1. How can we establish a robust social safety net that transcends the traditional dichotomy of worker vs. self-employed; and
  2. How can we finance it? 

Our guide focuses predominantly on platform work, but policy recommendations apply across the board, with all workers beyond traditional employment relationships in mind. 

Before you dive deep into the policy guide, discover how your views on designing social safety nets for all, match with the outlook of other stakeholders.

BACK TO WHAT TRULY MATTERS: Platforms, AI, and Youth in the Workplace

DISCUSSION REPORT

Key drivers of the future of work include deployment and regulation of digital technologies, such as digital labour platforms and AI, advancing youth employment, and workplace well-being. The EU regulators made significant policy throughout 2021 and 2022.

Resonating with the topics at the top of the EU agenda, the Reshaping Work Dialogue facilitated constructive discussions among 32 organisations, representing different viewpoints and expertise to further inspire policy-making, as well as provide concrete solutions to the pressing challenges, specifically regarding: (i) the impact of the platform work directive; (ii) AI in the workplace; (iii) youth employment and workplace well-being.

NAVIGATING DIVERSE FORMS OF WORK: How to Advance Decent and Fair Work

The European economies and labour market are undergoing an unprecedented digital transformation that has accelerated the rise of diverse (non-standard, new) forms of work. While the labour market transformation has been underway for decades, rapid technological advancements and, more recently, the COVID-19 pandemic, expedited the trend, compelling policy makers around the EU Member States to devise adequate responses.

A comprehensive outlook of diverse forms of work and the road towards ensuring fair and decent working conditions requires input from various stakeholders, such as companies, startups, unions, research institutions, and advocacy groups. To tackle the complexities of the challenges that lie ahead, Reshaping Work facilitated a multistakeholder dialogue tackling four key topic areas of paramount relevance for diverse workers: (1) Access to social protection; (2) Workers’ representation; (3) Algorithmic management and transparency; and (4) Re-skilling, up-skilling, and micro-credentials.

The report presents the outcome of twelve roundtable discussions facilitated by the Reshaping Work Dialogue project, supported by a systematic literature review of the topic and knowledge of independent experts that partook in writing and reviewing this report.

future of work, diverse forms of work, gig economy, labour law, policy

The European Commission Takes a Bold Action to Improve Lives of Platform Workers — What Is the Sentiment Around It?

On 8th December 2021, the European Commission proposed a set of measures to improve the working conditions of platform workers. The Commission proposed a rebuttable presumption of employment, which essentially means that any platform worker (including those working on online platforms for data coding or graphic design, as well on on-location platforms such as ride-hailing and food delivery) will be entitled to social benefits, regardless of their employment status. If the Directive is adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, Member States will have two years to incorporate it into national law.

What are the main objectives of this proposal and what are the first reactions of experts, companies, and unions? Read an overview of the follow up debate prepared by Jovana Karanovic, Founder and Managing Director of Reshaping Work.

EU Commission, platform work, future of work, EU directive

Future of Work Visions: Through the Lens of Different Stakeholders

Discussions and research on diverse (non-standard) forms of work receive great attention and reach new aspects that require immediate action to secure sustainable and decent work in the near future.

Marking the World Day for Decent Work (October 7), Reshaping Work invited a diverse field of experts to express their views for the future of work on the topics of access to social protection, workers’ representation, algorithmic management, and skills development, providing policy pointers that will lead to improvements of workers’ livelihoods.

Future of work, platform economy, diverse forms of employment, WDDW

Reshaping Work Onward - Migrant Labour Struggles and Challenges for Organising - 3-5 March 2021

Discussion report

Unions have a key role to play in giving a voice (and rendering visible) migrant workers, through organising them and helping them develop the confidence that comes from collective strength, but also ensuring that workers be active participants in all processes, such as certification. Certification ensures that the process of collective bargaining is formalised; a union can certify a group of employees for this purpose and bargain on their behalf.

This Reshaping Work Onward event, organized by the Global Labour University, created a space for open engagement on the complex challenges facing migrants, trade unions and activists. This report represents a selective overview of the discussions that took place at the event as well as a window into creative reflections that can help revitalise trade unions.

Migrant workers, unions, representation, labour law, social protection

ADVANCING THE QUALITY OF WORK AND WORKING CONDITIONS IN THE EU

Discussion report

Diverse forms of employment are on the rise: temporary work, agency work, platform work, and other multiparty work relationships beyond full time, open ended contracts. The growing variety of workforce and workplace configurations promises opportunities for greater labour market participation, increased worker autonomy and dynamic career paths.

Integrating these different types of work arrangements within existing social protection schemes, education systems and other institutional support programs calls for a collaborative approach among all relevant stakeholders — companies, trade unions, advocacy groups, researchers, etcetera.

To contribute to that ongoing integration and inspire policy discussion, this report presents the output of a multi-stakeholder dialogue that sheds light on the opportunities and complexities surrounding diverse forms of employment. We concentrate on three main areas that deserve attention and could inform policy responses:(1) access to good quality work, (2) social protections, rights and benefits and (3) skills and career development.

This report serves as a first step towards an enduring effort to improve work and working conditions for workers across diverse forms of employment.

Platform economy, platform workers, gig economy, labour law, policy

RESHAPING WORK ONWARD - GIG ECONOMY AROUND THE WORLD - 23 OCTOBER 2020

Discussion report

How does the experience of platform workers compare among workers in Argentina, the Netherlands, and India? How many gig workers rely on multiple applications to generate full-time income? What is the median monthly wage on different platforms and across countries? The report presents discussions on these topics as well as large-scale survey results, exclusively presented and debated at Reshaping Work Onward event (October 23, 2020), organized by WageIndicator Foundation. The event brought 150+ leading academics, policymakers, and advocates from a dozen countries, including India, South Africa, the Netherlands, Spain, and Argentina.

Platform workers, gig economy, labour law, data governance, cross-country differences

Reshaping Work Onward - Advancing Decent Work in the Platform Economy - 23 September 2020

The following report is based on the discussions that took place at Reshaping Work Onward event on 23 September 2020, which was organized by Open Society Foundations in collaboration with Cornell University. The purpose of this interactive virtual event was to convene diverse stakeholders to share insights and brainstorm ways forward to better address decent work in the digital economy, particularly with respect to platforms that provide ‘gig’ work. The conference brought 70 leading academics, policymakers, and advocates from a dozen countries, including South Africa, Brazil, India, the US, UK, and Mexico, to discuss and debate these challenges. Therefore, this report synthesizes the discussions that took place and serves as an inspiration for important challenges faced by policy makers.

Platform economy, competition policy, data governance, social protection, platform workers