LSPR’S Blog Symposium Theme #2: Gig Economy and The Law

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This is Week 2 of the webinar series and blog symposium – organized by the student wing of the Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy, the Kautilya Society, in partnership with the Young Scholars Initiative.

To access the webinar recording, Click here.


Structure and Time

15th August: Three  articles on the three topics, authored by Batch of 2020 Graduates of National Law School of India University, Bangalore, will be released as part of our blog symposium on lawschoolpolicyreview.com.

16th August: The webinar will be held from 14:30-16:30 IST. The speakers will be speaking for 1 hour, followed by a 45-minute QnA session.


About the Session

Dr Gayatri Nair, in conversation with Adv. Mr Sanjoy Ghose and Dr Jamie Woodcock, will discuss how, with the loss of usual employment opportunities, many day jobs have been converted into gig work by modern start-ups. The panel will touch upon the Digital Informalization of Labour and how elements such as class action waivers, job insecurity, mandatory arbitration agreements and third-party control will impact the labour market. This discussion will lead into questions about the Anti-trust Law and Collective Bargaining in the gig economy: Can gig service-providers take collective action? Does the labour exemption in anti-trust extend to them or are they independent-contractors who cannot collectivize? And, lastly, the panel will look into the issues of Bias and Discrimination in the Gig Economy. How do we tackle gender and social discrimination which has seeped into the gig economy?

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The Speakers

Dr Nair is an Assistant Professor at IIIT, Delhi. She received her M.Phil (2012) and PhD (2016) in Sociology from the Centre for the Study of Social Systems, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi. Her research interests lie in urban informal labour and livelihood patterns with an emphasis on the question of technology, caste and gender.

Mr Ghose is one of India’s foremost lawyers on employment and labour law and has been in practice for over 23 years. He is a NLSIU (Batch of 1996) graduate.

Dr Woodcock is a senior lecturer at the Open University and a researcher based in London. He is the author of The Gig Economy (Polity, 2019), Marx at the Arcade (Haymarket, 2019), and Working the Phones (Pluto, 2017). His research foccused on labour, work and the gig economy is inspired by the workers’ inquiry. He is on the editorial board of Notes from Below and Historical Materialism. He completed his PhD in sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London and has held positions at Goldsmiths, University of Leeds, University of Manchester, Queen Mary, NYU London, Cass Business School, the LSE, and the University of Oxford.


The Articles

Gig Economy: Labour force v. Self-made Boss by Yamuna Menon: Many day jobs, which were the usual employment opportunities for most people, are now being converted into gig work by modern startups. What impact will this have on the labour market. How do we use regulations to make it fair?

Anti-trust law and Collective Bargaining in the gig economy by Apurv Jain: Can gig service-providers take collective action? Does the labour exemption in anti-trust extend to them or are they independent-contractors who cannot collectivise?

Bias and Discrimination in the Gig Economy by Sushmita Som: How do we tackle gender and social discrimination which has seeped into the gig economy?


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