We hosted Prof Andrew Stewart to talk about crowd working in the gig economy. The new forms of work are not entirely new, nor are they entirely negative in their implications for workers. But they do shake up social structures and relationships of work, and this has important ramifications. In these systems, workers bear a greater share of the risks of work. Stewart worries about how many service providers, all across the economy, will be protected across a number of different interests: labour relations and collective bargaining, superannuation, unemployment benefits, sick leave, and so on.
Stewart refers to De Stefano’s 2015 report on crowdwork to provide a typology of work in the gig economy. De Stefano points out that in some crowdwork platforms, the intermediary is much more heavily involved in setting and enforcing standards, prices, and controlling other aspects of how work is performed.