International Regulation of Platform Labor: A Proposal for Action


  • Sandra Fredman University of Oxford
  • Darcy du Toit University of Western Cape
  • Mark Graham University of Oxford
  • Aradhana Cherupara Vadekkethil University of Oxford
  • Gautam Bhatia University of Oxford
  • Alessio Bertolini University of Oxford



platform work, convention, regulation, fairwork


Platform-mediated work is a source of livelihood for millions of workers worldwide. However, because platforms typically classify workers as ‘independent contractors’, those workers are generally excluded from the scope of labor rights. This has a corrosive effect on working standards of platform workers, creating the need for an international regulatory framework to prevent a race to the bottom. To address this situation, the article proposes an outline for an International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention for the regulation of platform work going beyond the employee/independent contractor dichotomy. It identifies five core issues in the platform economy – low pay, poor working conditions, inaccessible and unreasonable contracts, unfair management, and a lack of representation – and demonstrates how existing ILO standards could be adapted to address these issues. The proposals are informed by the evidence collected by the Fairwork project through its participatory and multidisciplinary research.


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How to Cite

Fredman, S., du Toit, D., Graham, M., Cherupara Vadekkethil, A., Bhatia, G., & Bertolini, A. (2021). International Regulation of Platform Labor: A Proposal for Action. Weizenbaum Journal of the Digital Society, 1(1), w1.1.4.



Research Papers