Editor's Note: Catherine Dunmore is an experienced international lawyer who practised international arbitration for multinational law firms in London and Paris. She recently received her LL.M. from the University of Toronto and her main fields of interest include international criminal law and human rights. Since October 2017, she is part of the team of the Doing Business Right project at the Asser Institute.
This report compiles all relevant news, events and materials on Doing Business Right based on the daily coverage provided on our twitter feed @DoinBizRight. You are invited to complete this survey via the comments section below, feel free to add links to important cases, documents and articles we might have overlooked. More...
Editor’s Note: Elisa Chiaro is a legal consultant focussing
on Business and Human Rights and International Criminal Law. In 2016 she
completed an LL.M. at SOAS, University of London. Before that she worked for
five years as international corporate lawyer both in Italy and UK. She is
admitted to the Bar in Italy.
discourse, the most pressing issues concerning human rights and business are often
associated with the developing countries to which manufacturing is outsourced.
However, the “western world” also faces new challenges as far as workers’
rights are concerned.
It is cheap and convenient for people to book a car ride or
order their favourite takeaway meal at a few swipes of their smartphone. App-based
service companies are thus very popular among consumers – and are consequently
flourishing. Conversely, some doubts have been cast on the fairness of the working
conditions of people contracted by these companies. A central issue in this
respect relates to the status of their workers, who on paper are self-employed,
but in reality are subject to the control of the company, a condition which
clashes with being independent. This post aims firstly to analyse the labour conditions
of gig economy workers in Europe, with a focus on some of the main service platforms,
namely Uber, Deliveroo, Foodora, and Hermes Parcels: the majority of these
companies, Uber in particular, are transnational, operating in many national
markets and adopting the same business model based on flexible work and lack of
security for workers in each market. Secondly, it will scrutinise how National
and European institutions and courts are augmenting gig economy workers’
conditions for the better. The issue is crucial in the UK, especially following
September’s decision by Transport of London (“TFL”) to reject Uber’s
application for a new London license, but legal disputes have also started in
other countries (in, among others, the UK, Italy and the USA). The UK
Parliament is also discussing the matter, and the EU Commission has started a
round table with trade unions and employers to find new solutions to address the