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Transformations in the world of work pose vast opportunities and adverse impacts on workers and employers. Such transformations largely contributed to the emergence of the gig economy. However, the prevailing institutional mechanisms and regulatory regimes are being challenged to respond effectively to the transformation. Using a qualitative method approach, this study seeks to gain a detailed understanding of gig economy governance and uncover new insights and opinions through key informant interviews and focus group discussions among participants from targeted sectors. Interviews revealed that the employment relationship of gig workers remains a contentious issue in the gig economy despite the presence of legal frameworks (i.e., test of relationship).

While the prevailing employment relationship is of independent contractorship, there are arising employment-related policy questions that demand careful consideration (i.e., changing nature of work, finding a balance between business innovation and workers' protection, shifting labor market dynamics, challenging institutional arrangements, and unknown size and contribution of gig economy). Policy options ranging from retaining the status quo (factual determination), amending a law, and/or formulating an enabling law have opportunities and challenges. These policy options open the following avenue for policymakers: 1) to consider or not the reclassification of gig workers in the country’s classification of workers; 2) to identify their rights and minimum standards as independent contractors through a model contract; 3) to embrace the possibility of portability of their social security; and 4) to include the expanded disputes resolution among gig workers. With the gig economy rapidly expanding, the identified multifaceted opportunities and challenges in this paper should not be assessed in isolation but rather as part of a broader package of actions.

Keywords: gig economy, gig workers, gig governance, employment relationship, labor laws
RESEARCHERS: Miraluna S. Tacadao | Diether B. Navarosa | Jan Danielle S. Bondad | Mary Rosarie B. Sto. Tomas

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