Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy

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9780198797029: Humans as a Service: The Promise and Perils of Work in the Gig Economy
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WHAT IF YOUR BOSS WAS AN ALGORITHM?
The gig economy promises to revolutionise work as we know it, offering flexibility and independence instead of 9-to-5 drudgery. The potential benefits are enormous: consumers enjoy the convenience and affordability of on-demand work while micro-entrepreneurs turn to online platforms in search of their next gig, task, or ride.

IS THIS THE FUTURE OF WORK?
The gig economy promises to revolutionise work as we know it, offering flexibility and independence instead of 9-to-5 drudgery. The potential benefits are enormous: consumers enjoy the convenience and affordability of on-demand work while micro-entrepreneurs turn to online platforms in search of their next gig, task, or ride.

HOW CAN WE PROTECT CONSUMERS & WORKERS WITHOUT STIFLING INNOVATION?
As courts and governments around the world begin to grapple with the gig economy, Humans as a Service explores the challenges of on-demand work, and explains how we can ensure decent working conditions, protect consumers, and foster innovation. Employment law plays a central role in levelling the playing field: gigs, tasks, and rides are work - and should be regulated as such.

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Review:

4*: [A] comprehensive look at the gig economy. (Shantha David, Law Society Gazette)

An engaging, illustrative, and thought-provoking book. (Václav Janecek, Oxford Business Law Blog)

An engaging and readable account of the legal and policy issues that underpin the debate about the protection of those working in the gig economy... [an] elegantly written [and] concise work.... recommended for anyone who wants to understand the wider context of work in the gig economy and its engagement with employment law. (Charles Wynn-Evans, Employment Lawyers Association's ELA Briefing)

This book offers a seminal account of the main features of work in the gig economy, providing a considerable amount of information and interesting insights on a varied and rapidly varying phenomenon ... the findings of the book, which illuminates the promises and especially the perils of on-demand work, provide an extremely valuable contribution to the overall discussion. (Marco Biasi, European Journal of Social Security)

The arguments Jeremias Prassl offers in this book will change the way you think about at work and labor law in a changing economy. It is a brilliant and fascinating book. A triumph. (David Schleicher, Professor of Law, Yale Law School)

The sudden arrival of the 'gig economy', and its exponential global growth, took both academics and policy-makers by surprise, exposing some regulations as no longer fit for purpose in the volatile conditions of digital global labour markets. Prassl provides us with a magisterial overview, cutting through starry-eyed myths about entrepreneurship, while exposing the realities of work that is managed by algorithms. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand not just the inadequacies of current legal frameworks for regulating this runaway new form of work organisation, but also, and more importantly, to do new model of employment protection fit for the 21st century. (Ursula Huws, Professor of Labour and Globalisation, University of Hertfordshire)

Prassl offers a good survey of the literature... Humans as a Service should guide you to other useful avenues of thought as we seek to rethink employment law for the future of work. (David Cowan, Global Legal Post)

About the Author:

Jeremias Prassl is a Fellow of Magdalen College and an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at Oxford University. He advises public and private sector organisations around the world on regulating the gig economy, and tweets about the future of work @JeremiasPrassl.

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