OXFORD UNIVERSITY PRESS

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

ISBN : 9780198797012

Price(incl.tax): 
¥4,554
Author: 
Jeremias Prassl
Pages
208 Pages
Format
Hardcover
Size
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2018
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  • An engaging account of work in the gig economy across the world: its opportunities, its problems, and its wider implications.
  • Considers the variety of approaches and business models, and how these constantly evolve to meet new market demands and regulatory challenges.
  • Examines the competing narratives surrounding 'gigs', sharing, and collaboration and the reality of platforms reliant on on-demand workforces.
  • Develops a blueprint to solve the problems facing on-demand workers, platforms, and their customers.

 
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?
This book offers an engaging account of work in the gig economy across the world. Competing narratives abound: on-demand gigs offer entrepreneurial flexibility - or precarious work, strictly controlled by user ratings and algorithmic surveillance. Platforms' sophisticated technology is the product of disruptive innovation - whilst the underlying business model has existed for centuries.

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 â and should be regulated as such.
 
 
REVIEWS:

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

"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

"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 something about it, to create the basis for a sustainable 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

Index: 

Introduction
1: Work on Demand
2: Double Speak
3: Lost in the Crowd
4: The Innovation Paradox
5: Disrupting the Disruptors
6: Levelling the Playing Field
Epilogue

About the author: 

Jeremias Prassl, Associate Professor and Fellow of Magdalen College, University of Oxford
 
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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