De-gigging the labour market? An analysis of the ‘algorithmic management’ provisions in the proposed Platform Work Directive
Keywords:Algorithmic management, surveillance, European Union, right to explanation, gig-economy, artificial intelligence, data protection
Workers are increasingly being managed by technologies. Before spreading to larger segments of the labour market, algorithmic management systems were a signature feature of platform work. The exercise of power through digital labour platforms is one cause of the precarious working conditions in this area, an issue that could soon concern a wider group of workers in traditional economic sectors.
This article elucidates the provisions regulating algorithmic management in the proposed EU Directive on improving working conditions in platform work, which tackles automated surveillance and automated decision-making practices. The proposed Directive mandates the disclosure of their adoption and sets out information and explanation rights regarding the categories of actions monitored and the parameters considered. Unlike rules concerning the presumption of employment status, the provisions on algorithmic management apply to all platform workers, including genuinely self-employed persons.
Before offering a reasoned overview of the legal measures envisaged in the proposed text, this article grapples with the process leading to the proposed Directive in order to reveal the background and alternatives to the current formulation. It addresses the interplay between the text and other instruments regulating the deployment of technologies for managing workers. The steps intended to hold platforms to account are remarkable, but the regulatory technique could result in partially overlapping models, thereby increasing legal uncertainty and arbitrage.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Antonio Aloisi, Nastazja Potocka-Sionek
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