Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

  • Author: Jeremias Prassl

What if your boss was an algorithm?

The world of work is going digital: an ever-growing number of start-ups are setting up online platforms and mobile “apps” to connect consumers, businesses, and workers—often for jobs lasting no longer than a few minutes. What started out as a small niche for digital “crowdwork” on platforms like UpWork and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk has grown into a global phenomenon.

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The Uber dilemma: are “crowd-work” platforms employers?

The law has long struggled to adapt to new forms of employment – who should be responsible for the protection of workers’ rights, from minimum wage and working time to discrimination law, in today’s fragmented economy? These fundamental questions are now returning to public discussion as a result of the meteoric rise of so-called “crowd-work”.

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