Community news|30/08/23

Platform workers and social security: recent developments in America

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A recent article published on the website of the International Social Security Association (ISSA) outlines developments in American countries that have, or could have, an impact on the status and social protection of platform workers.

As elsewhere in the world, the lack of a legal framework has resulted in limited protection for these workers. Given the complexity of the platform economy, there is no standard approach. Thus initiatives range from labour code reforms to separate social security regimes to regulations targeting a particular need or gap. In addition, the status of platform workers varies between jurisdictions, sometimes even within the same country.

Ongoing monitoring of developments shows the wide diversity of legislative priorities on platform working. Almost all of the cases presented deal exclusively with location-based platform work, as opposed to online work, and often even refer to specific subgroups such as delivery or taxi services. Similarly, whatever the classification of the job, the most regulated aspects are adequate remuneration, health and safety at work and data transparency.

Finally, it is important to highlight cases where, instead of regulating platform work, social security systems have adapted to offer a certain level of benefits to workers, generally facilitating their enrolment in existing schemes for the self-employed. In each of these cases, collaboration between public institutions and platforms has played a key role in both formalising workers and providing benefits.

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