Rethinking The Allocation Criteria Of The Labour Law Rights And Protections: A Risk-Based Approach

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper, not in proceeding


The present paper investigates the ongoing validity of the notion of subordination as selection criteria to allocate the labour protections in the contemporary economic framework. The gig economy is deeply affecting the way of working, transforming the employee in a service provider. This phenomenon is partially due to the progressive shift from a firm-based production model towards a market transaction based one. Although its lawfulness is still unclear, it highline that the way of working is changing in a way that struggles to fit in the classic legal categories. This is mainly due to the fact that the labour protections are usually bestowed moving from a notion of subordination highly focused on the organizational element. Thus, economic actors suffering from the same economic weakness of the employees, but organizationally independent, struggles to obtain the necessary protections.
Moving from those remarks the A. suggests to rethink the allocation criteria of the labour protections, adopting as the main one the economic weakness. This category should encompass all the individuals performing a working activity that are not able to significantly influence its financial outcome. The aim of such reform should be to extend the labour protections to all the subjects needing them.
The final part of the paper investigates the possible solutions under the current legal framework. The major finding is that under certain circumstances the gig workers can be qualified as temporary employee not of the platform, but of the contractor. The main consequence of this interpretation is represented by the fact that the digital platforms should be deemed as job-placement service providers. Thus, they should comply with the relevant provisions, including the eventual need of administrative authorizations and the free-of-charge principle.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Law and Society


  • subordination, nature of the employment contract, labour law, gig work
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019 Jun 1
Publication categoryResearch
Event6th Regulating for Decent Work Conference - International Labour Office, Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 2019 Jul 82019 Jul 10


Conference6th Regulating for Decent Work Conference
Internet address