Gig economy and its Implications for Social Dialogue and Workers' Protection
Research Question:

What are the challenges of the gig economy in terms of social dialogue and workers’ protection?

New work concepts resulting from the digital transformation are revolutionising the world of work. The 'gig economy' or 'sharing economy' has profound implications for social dialogue and workers’ protection. While some see gigging as a way into the workforce for the hard-to-employ, others portend a pessimistic future of workers with little or no income-security protections. The projects seeks to generate a better understanding of how the gig economy is transforming the social dialogue and workers' protection and to provide an integrated picture of its implications for the role of employers, workers, government and society at large. The research will identify concrete policy options for public policy and social dialogue actors to meet the challenges of the gig economy. Thus, it will contribute to the advancement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which recognises the pivotal role of decent work in realising the 17 Social Development Goals. The three main questions guiding the research are:

What are the implications of the gig economy for employment arrangements, social protection, and for social dialogue and labour relations in different sectors and countries?

How can the technological and business-model innovation of the gig economy be managed and enhanced to ensure it delivers a measure of security and social protection to the millions of workers who are beginning to depend on it for their livelihoods? 

What should be the role of social dialogue and the social partners in shaping developments in the gig economy and ensuring decent work for 'crowd workers'?


The core of the research will comprise a thorough examination of case studies of 'crowdwork' and 'work-on-demand via app' in the sectors of transport, hospitality and banking. The research will follow a cross-national comparative design studying Switzerland, Germany, Greece and UK.


Project Members

Name Role Department/Institute Institution
Jean-Michel Bonvin Coordinator Institut de démographie et socioéconomie University of Geneva
Maria Mexi Co-Coordinator Political Sciences - Institute of Citizenship Studies University of Geneva
Nicola Cianferoni Principal Member Centre d'étude des capabilités dans les services sociaux et sanitaires (CESCAP) University of Geneva
Johannes Kiess Principal Member Sociology Other University of Siegen
Luca Perrig Principal Member Sociology University of Geneva
Lucio Baccaro Associated Member Sociology University of Geneva
Simone Baglioni Associated Member Yunus Centre for Social Business and Health Glasgow Caledonian University
Youcef Ghellab Associated Member Governance and Tripartism Department ILO International Labour Organisation
Marco Giugni Associated Member Political Sciences - Institute of Citizenship Studies University of Geneva
Christian Lahusen Associated Member Faculty of Arts Universität Siegen
Konstantinos (Kostas) Papadakis Associated Member Governance and Tripartism ILO International Labour Organisation