This project aims to understand the contextual, contractual and practical nature of platform work, to identify its shortfall from decent work standards and to contribute to the development of its governance and regulation.

Digital work platforms represent a rapidly growing new economic model that provides employment for millions of workers in the global South. Little is understood about this important emergent form of employment but evidence so far points to inherent precarity and inequality, falling far short of International Labour Organisation’s decent work standards. The platform economy has widened access to work for millions around the world, but at the same time has opened up abuse of workers and erosion of rights through the legal terminology of ‘worker’ – a situation that disproportionately affects women and migrants. Unless action is taken, this insecure, “indecent” work will become the new norm for growing numbers of workers (and especially vulnerable workers) in the South. This project thus aims to understand the contextual, contractual and practical nature of platform work; to identify its shortfall from decent work standards; to contribute to the development of governance and regulation; and to propose and enact new standards of specific relevance to platform work in developing countries.