JustJobs Network and the Centre for Financial Regulation and Inclusion (Cenfri), with support from the German Development Corporation GIZ (under its Emerging Markets Sustainability Dialogues programme EMSD), conducted an initial scoping study that, with the help of case studies in Africa and Asia, sheds light on employment, working conditions and labour and policy regimes for platform workers.
As the nature of work changes and more individuals derive an income from platform work, existing labour and social protection regulations are no longer fit for purpose. Policymakers are trying to figure out the right policies and regulations to govern labour markets in light of the rising number of gig workers while, at the same time, encouraging innovation and dynamism in the platform economy.
Emerging and developing countries confront a set of challenges that are different from the ones faced by their more developed counterparts. Most economies in the Global South are characterised by dual labour markets, underemployment, a high incidence of survivalist self-employment, and generally weak social protection systems and regulatory compliance. These leave their gig workers even more vulnerable. This is true of geographically tethered gig workers as well as of freelance workers that cater to consumers in diverse geographies through platforms over the internet.
Against this backdrop, the project report aims to identify material challenges pertaining to conditions of work and labour relations that gig workers face in emerging and developing countries. It focuses on three case countries in Africa (Kenya, Nigeria and Rwanda) and four case countries in Asia (India, Myanmar, Thailand and the Philippines). It examines the extent to which prevailing labour and social protection regimes provide coverage for platform workers in the case countries and makes suggestions to fill the gaps. The report identifies a set of policy options to help policymakers address the challenges that emerge as platforms generate new forms of work that are unaccounted for in existing policies and regulations.