Gig economy: workshop – keynote, 13 December 2019, University of Geneva

New business models are resulting from the digital transformation and revolutionizing the world of work. The gig economy has profound implications for social dialogue and workers’ protection. While some see gigging as a way into regular employment for the hard-to-employ, others portend a pessimistic future of workers with little or no income-security protections. The Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS) funded a research project aimed to generate a better understanding of how the gig economy is transforming social dialogue and workers’ protection. The research tackles several questions in the perspective of the ILO Decent Work Agenda. What are the implications of the gig economy for employment arrangements, social protection, and for social dialogue and labour relations in different sectors and countries? How can the technological and managerial innovation of the gig economy be managed and enhanced to ensure it delivers a measure of security and social protection to the workers? What should be the role of social dialogue and the social partners in shaping developments in the gig economy and ensuring decent work for gig workers?

In this final conference all research teams involved in the project – in Switzerland, Germany, Greece and United Kingdom – will present and discuss the results of their fieldwork with recognized international experts and the audience in general.

This project is founded by the Swiss Network for International Studies (SNIS).


Workshop (Room M6220)

  • 9.30 – 9.45:  Opening remarks by Prof. Jean-Michel Bonvin (University of Geneva)
  • 9.45 – 10.00:  “The ILO Decent Work Agenda and the challenges of the digital era” by Kostas Papadakis (ILO – Senior Social Dialogue and Governance Specialist)
  • 10.00 – 11.00:  “Social partnership and the gig economy in Greece: continuities and discontinuities” by Maria Mexi (University of Geneva) Discussant: Chris Land-Kazlauskas (ILO)
  • 11.15 – 12.15:  “Collective bargaining, industry 4.0 and the impact of the gig economy: a way toward a social protection 4.0?” by Prof. Christian Lahusen and Johannes Kiess (University of Siegen) Discussant: Mathias Wouters (KUL)

Lunch break

  • 13.45 – 14.45:  “Working for whom? Dialogue, disagreement and the future of work in the UK gig economy” by Prof. Simone Baglioni and Tom Montgomery (Glasgow Caledonian University) Discussant: Prof. Philip Balsiger (University of Neuchâtel)
  • 15.00 – 16.00:  “How can social dialogue contribute to the enhancement of gig workers’ rights?” Prof. Jean-Michel Bonvin, Nicola Cianferoni and Luca Perrig (University of Geneva) Discussant: Prof. Kurt Pärli (University of Basel)

Keynote (Room MR170)

  • 16.15 – 17.30 “The rise of the gig economy and its impacts on the future of work”: Jamie Woodcock (The Open University)

Local organizing committee

Jean-Michel Bonvin, Nicola Cianferoni, Maria Mexi and Luca Perrig
University of Geneva

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