Regular employment has organized schedules and definitive timelines with strict reporting times and hours of service, expected deliverables, and specified targets. On contrary, the gig employment is a self-regulated work environment coordinated by an individual worker contract with the provider of the service (, 2016, p. 2). The main difference between the two concepts is that gig approach takes a freelance approach unlike regular employment with a specific working station. .
Whileregular employment systems have strict expectations on the employee over the rate of work, productivity levels, and working shifts, the traditional setup has parallel expectations of wages, allowances, and other benefits either monetary or not. In addition, the gig strategy enables an individual to work form home or any place determined by the gig worker (, 2016, p. 11). Technological advancement in the areas of information management systems is fast changing the interactions at the work place. Businesses anchored on the traditional models are likely to be faced out unless they take up technology under information management systems, which wouldgive them access to the global clientele..
The gig worker is confronted by innovative systems of applying for work compared to the traditional worker. Whereas the traditional workers has to make several job applications, develop resumes, and attend various interviews, the gig worker is only required to register online and access and apply available and most interesting jobs in the digital platform. (, 2016, p. 8). According to (2016), majority of American citizens have taken up the opportunity provided by the gig platform to enhance their income. However, the pay structures in gig employment occasionally disadvantage the employee compared to the traditional work environment. Almost one in three digital gig workers have complained of not receiving their dues despite rendering their services (, 2016, p.14). Besides limited legal frameworks to pursue the gig employer, the traditional work environment have various conflicts resolution policies and laws protecting them.
The Uber driver-partner works in a scenario where Uber Company sets the rules of engagement. The driver-partners are a victim of the gig employment approaches operated on the digital platform where the employer has all the rights over payment procedure at the expense of actual service provider. For instance, Uber customers pay their fair through an app using their credit card. Notably, Uber sets the rate of payment, receives the payment from the customers, directs the standards of the vehicles to be operated on the platform, and allocates drivers to jobs apart from firing them haphazardly (et al., 2016, p. 7). Therefore, the treatment of the driver-partners as independent contractors is untenable in law given the level of influence and control of the business by Uber. Autonomous contractors have control over their operations compared to the Uber partner-driver. It is important to apply the same laws governing other sectors besince the terms of work are similar. According to et al. (2016), different laws and policies in the U.S. legal system protects employee and employers from independent contractors (p. 8). Autonomous contractors have the obligation to pay for their own medical insurance, social security, and income tax as both employer and employee. The situation disadvantages the Uber driver-partners who are treated by Uber as independent contractors. The National Labor and Relations Board (NLRB) and the Department of Labour (DOL) advice that it is difficult for Uber driver-partner to gain an employee status (Janet et al., 2016). According to NLRB and DOL, the conditions for such declaration are influenced by a determination to ascertain the extent to which the work performed was an employer’s business, whether preliminary qualification is expected for the work, the levels of investment in the business, and the permanency of the contracts (et al., 2016). Even though the Uber CEO explains the model as a new way for people to work at their discretion, it exposes the systemic weakness of commitment on pay structures at the gig market place.
The gig work is sufficiently distinct from the regular forms of employment and should be excluded from the labour regulations. However, the operations of the gig platform should be monitored with progressive regulations to caution the gig worker from exploitative employers who take advantage of weak regulatory infrastructure. Given that the worker on the gig platform chooses their work schedules, it is difficult to control the platform. The unregulated hours of services,nature of assignment, and unspecified investment make it difficult to subscribe gig employment to guidelines similar to those controlling regular employment.
Janet, L. Rovenpor, Lisa T. Stickney, Rita J. Shea-Van Fossen, (2016) “Uber and its Driver-Partners: Labor Challenges in the On-Demand Transportation Networking Sector” (pp. 1-23).
Pew Research Center, November, 2016, “Gig Work, Online Selling and Home Sharing” (pp. 1-17).