Regulating labour platforms, the data deficit

Main Article Content

Adrian John Hawley


It is widely reported that there is a data deficit regarding working conditions in the gig economy. It is known, however, that workers are disadvantaged because they are not classed as employees with the result that they lack work-related entitlements and may not be protected by the social welfare safety net. Nor is this compatible with the social market economy enshrined in the European Union treaties. Two obstacles are that labour law and social policy are mainly a national competence and that platforms are reluctant to share data with regulators. In this paper I take the specific case of offline labour platforms intermediated by app and smart phone such as driving and delivering and look for new pathways between access to data and the shaping of public policy in member states with potentially legal certainty.

Article Details

Author Biography

Adrian John Hawley, Royal Holloway University of London

Ph.D candidate (3rd year) School of Management


Adler, P.S. (2016) 'Alternative Economic Futures: A Research Agenda for Progressive Management Scholarship', Academy of Management Perspective, 30(2): 123-128.

Balaram, B., Warden, J.R. and Wallace-Stephens, F. (2017) 'Good gigs, A fairer future for the UK's gig economy', RSA Action and Research Centre, pp.3-64.

Bardhi, F. and Eckhardt, G.M. (2012) ‘Access-Based Consumption: the Case of Car Sharing’, Journal of Consumer Research, Vol. 39, Dec 2012

Botsman, R. and Roo, R. (2010) What’s mine is Yours, How Collaborative Consumption is Changing the Way We Live, Collins

Braverman, H. (1974[1998]) Labour and Monopoly Capital, The Degradation of Work in the Twentieth Century, Monthly Review Press, NY

Burrow, S. (2018) 'WEF co-chair: Greed is still the economic engine'

Christensen, C.M. (1997) The innovator's dilemma : when new technologies cause great firms to fail, Boston, Mass : Harvard Business School Press

Christensen, C.M., Raynor, M.E. and McDonald, R. (2015) 'What Is Disruptive Innovation?', Harvard Business Review, Dec 2015. Accessed via “What Is Disruptive Innovation?â€

CIPD (2017) 'To gig or not to gig? Stories from the modern economy', Survey Report by the CIPD, pp.2-54

Codagnone, C., Abadie, F. and Biagi, F. (2016) 'The Passions and the Interests: Unpacking the ‘Sharing Economy’, EC, JRC Science for Policy Report, pp. 3-156.

Codagnone, C. and Martens, B. (2016) 'Scoping the Sharing Economy: Origins, Definitions, Impact and Regulatory Issues', Institute for Prospective Technological StudiesDigital Economy Working Paper 2016/01JRC Technical Reports, 3–25.

Costello, T. (2017) 'Six years On, Assessing the Impact of the Country Specific Recommendations

Crouch, C. (2006) 'Modelling the Firm in its Market and Organizational Environment: Methodologies for Studying Corporate Social Responsibility', Organization Studies, 27(10):1533-1551.

EC (2016) 'A European agenda for the collaborative economy', EC COM (2016) 184 Final,

EC (2017) 'Establishing a European Pillar of Social Rights', COM(2017) 250 final, 26 April, 2017 pp 1-10.

EC (2017a) 'President Juncker at the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth', 17 Nov 2017.

ECJ (2017) Opinion of Advocate General Szpunar delivered on 11 May 20171 Case C-434/15 Asociación Profesional Elite Taxi v Uber Systems Spain SL.

EC (2018) Proposal for a Council Recommendation on access to social protection for workers and the self-employed, COM (2018) 132

Elert, N. and Henrekson, M. (2016), ‘Evasive entrepreneurship’, Small Business Economics, 47:95–113.

Employment Tribunals (2016) 'Reason for the Reserved Judgement on Preliminary Hearing Sent to the Parties' 28 Oct 2016.

Employment Appeal Tribunal (2017) 'At the Tribunal On 27 & 28 September 2017 Judgment handed down on 10 November 20'.

EP (2018b) 'The collaborative economy and taxation: Taxing the value created in the collaborative economy', In-depth Analysis, European Parliamentary Research Service, pp.3-28

Finlayson, J.G. (2005) Habermas, A Very Short Introduction, Oxford

German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (2017), 'Re-imagining work. White Paper Work 4.0 (Arbeiten 4.0), pp. 4-232

Greisman, H.C. and Ritzer, G. (1981) ‘Max Weber, Critical Theory, and the Administered World’, Qualitative Sociology 40(1):34-55

Habermas, J. (2001) Postnational Constellation, Political Essays, trans. and ed. Pensky, M. MIT Press.

Hall, J.V. and Krueger, A. B. (2015) 'An Analysis of the Labor Market for Uber’s Driver- Partners in the United States', Working paper #587 Princeton University Industrial Relations Section, pp.1-27.

Hall, J.V. and Krueger, A. B. (2016) 'An Analysis of the Labor Market for Uber’s Driver- Partners in the United States', Update, Working Paper 22843 National Bureau of Economic Research pp 1-35.

Huws, U. Spencer, N., H. and Joyce, S. (2016) 'Crowdworking Survey for FEPS and Uni Europa', in conjunction with Ipsos MORI pp. 1-50

Jürgens, K., Hoffmann, R. and Schildmann, C. (2017) 'Let’s Transform Work! Recommendations and Proposals from the Commission on the Work of the Future', Hans-Böckler Stiftung, trans. from the German by Andrew Wilson pp. 8-261.

Kundnani, H.(2018) 'The Troubling Transformation of The EU', webpost 06 April 2018.

Lashinsky, A (2017) Wild Ride, Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination, Portfolio Penguin

Le Monde (2015) 'Uber, "Les batailles juridiques seront sans fin", 21 Jan 2015.

Martin, C.J. (2016) ‘The sharing economy: A pathway to sustainability or a nightmarish form of neoliberal capitalism’, Ecological Economics 121 (2016): 149–159.

Mejia, R. (2015) 'A Pressure Chamber of Innovation: Google Fiber and Flexible Capital', Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies, 12 (3): 289-308.

Nagirnaya, A.V. (2014) ‘The Information Revolution and Some Issues in Communication Geography’, Geography and Natural Resources, Vol. 35, No. 1: 1-6.

Niemietz, K. and Zuluaga, D. (2016) 'Hire authority. Turning statutory regulation into private regulation for the UK’s taxi industry', IEA Discussion Paper No.76, pp3-49.

Nye, J.S. (2014) ‘The Information Revolution and Soft Power’, Current History 113(759): 19- 22.

OECD (2016) New forms of work in the digital economy', Working Party on Measurement and Analysis of the Digital Economy, (DSTI/ICCP/IIS(2015)13/FINAL

Piasna, A. (2017) ''' Bad jobs’' recovery? European Job Quality Index 2005-2015. Working paper 2017-06, ETUI, pp. 4-43

Raval, N. and Dourish, P. (2016) ' Standing Out from the Crowd: Emotional Labor, Body Labor, and Temporal Labor in Ridesharing', Proceedings of the 19th ACM Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work & Social Computing 27 Feb to 2 Mar, 2016, San Francisco, CA

Resolution Foundation (2016) 'Making the living wage', pp.2-39

Reuters (2017) 'France's gig economy creates hopes and tensions as election looms', webpost 11 April 2017

Rosenblat, A. and Stark, L. (2015) ‘Uber’s Drivers: Information Asymmetries and Control in Dynamic Work’ .

Rosenblat, A. and Stark, L. (2016) ‘Algorithmic Labor and Information Asymmetries: A Case Study of Uber’s Drivers’, International Journal of Communication, 10: 3758–3784.

Rifkin, J. (2014) The Zero Marginal Cost Society, St. Martin’s Press

Sandel, M. (2012) What Money Can't Buy, The Moral Limits of Markets, Penguin

Sennett, R. (2006) The Culture of the New Capitalism, New Haven, CT: Yale University Press

Strong. T. B and Sposito, F. A. (1995) 'Habermas's significant other', in The Cambridge Companion to Habermas, ed. White, S.K. Cambridge, 'Part V. The Defence of Modernity', pp.263-286

Sundararajan, A. (2017) 'The Collaborative Economy: Socioeconomic, Regulatory and Labor Issues', In-depth analysis for Directorate General for Internal Policy, EP, IP/A/IMCO/2016-12, pp.6-33.

Taylor, M. (2017) 'Good Work, the Taylor Review of Modern Working Practices', commissioned by UK Government, pp.4-112.

Uber (2016) 'New Data Reveals Uber’s Economic Impact in France', web post 28 Dec 2016.

Uber (2018) 'White Paper on Work and Social Protection in Europe'

Varoufakis, Y. (2017) Adults in the room. My battle with Europe's deep establishment, The Bodley Head, London.

Weber, M. ([1904/5], 1930, 1946, 1958) The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, trans. Parsons, T., Allen & Unwin