Gig Work Needs a New Kind of Regulation

Beth Furness

We are at a point where there are many gaps when it comes to regulating the gig economy in a fair and all encompassing way.

We can all agree that some of the vital matters that should be addressed, whatever the kind of employment, are health insurance, taxes and retirement plans. The challenge for local legislators is even bigger, if one takes into consideration that the gig economy players, like Uber or Deliveroo, operate across multiple markets around the world.

‍

The concept of gig or freelance work is not something new, but it was brought to the spotlight by the gig economy, and is now spanning all around the world. The so called gig workers, work on demand or on a freelance-contractor basis. Technology and innovation have enabled this kind of economy to rise and take the world by storm, but sometimes technology runs faster than the legislative power. Consequently, we are at a point where there are many gaps when it comes to regulating the gig economy in a fair and all encompassing way.

‍

We can all agree that some of the vital matters that should be addressed, whatever the kind of employment, are health insurance, taxes and retirement plans. The challenge for local legislators is even bigger, if one takes into consideration that the gig economy players, like Uber or Deliveroo, operate across multiple markets around the world.  Matters like minimum wage, paid leave, sick leave, health insurance, tax payment and retirement plans, if not regulated, deprive the gig economy companies of actually offering the advantages they promise: namely flexibility and improved efficiency. And when there are no innovative rules applying to the innovative job opportunities of our current time, we cannot talk about posing a fresh approach to work, workers’ rights and working conditions.  A new regulatory approach should mirror the gig economy companies advantages like flexibility, higher independence, inclusivity and lower starting cost.


Thankfully, this matter has not gone unnoticed and in the light of some legal cases, like that of King, the process of taking some action towards regulating business conduct and workers’ rights in the gig economy has started. Journalists and academics alike have raised the issue and one interesting suggestion comes from Gillian Hadfield, professor of law and economics at the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. What she proposes is the concept of super-regulation.

‍

‍The super-regulation model advises that the governments of different countries should only regulate the “licensing and supervision of private frontline regulators” and set “the regulatory objectives their constituents care about”. The regulatory objectives could entail diverse subjects like limits to accidents on the road or pollutant emissions, or core standards for gig workers benefits and duties.


Then it would be the private regulators’ job to make sure the objectives and goals are met. This model’s advantage is that there is no need for agreement between governments and it can well function across the world, leaving each government free to set their own objectives and goals. It would also benefit companies like Uber, Foodora and Instacart because they would only need to apply to specific set of rules agreed upon both by the private regulator and the local government.


While the issue of effectively regulating the gig economy is brewing, AppJobs is there for gig workers, supporting and empowering them in multiple ways on a global scale. A new, extremely helpful feature is coming soon on the AppJobs platform, that will inform users about Service Providers that can help freelance/part-time/gig workers with getting insured, filing taxes, saving money etc. so they can make more educated choices on these important matters.  Stay tuned for more!

‍

Our services have helped nearly 2,000 companies find flex workers - find out how we can help you!‍
Contact our partner representative team for more information or with questions you may have about our services. Fill out the form and a member of our partner team will be in contact with you shortly."
Sales Team