Published October 1, 2021 | Version v1
Journal article Open

Shifting to Gig Labour: Perceptions of Sustainability


Digitalization is global megatrend. Digital labour platforms allow companies to outsource work to a crowd of people and are at the forefront of the "gig economy", characterized by one-off tasks, without further commitments for the involved partners. Sustainability is another megatrend; from that perspective the gig economy is controversial. Non-standard gig arrangements bring higher time flexibility for the workers, allowing for the integration of more individuals into the labour market. However, employment relationships associated with relatively weak labour market institutions and regulations, result in precarious jobs. Using data collected by semi-structured interviews, this paper explores the experience of Swiss workers who switched from a "standard-contract" employment position to occasional gig employment. This study finds evidence that the voluntary change towards a gig job may be associated with an improvement in the perceived social sustainability, and with a degradation of the economic and environmental sustainability. The conclusion may be specific to the high development context of the country where the study took place, Switzerland. However, if that is the case, a stronger policy message emerges - even in newer forms of employment, protective legal frameworks ensuring a basic safety net for individuals continue to be fundamentally relevant for more sustainable labour arrangements.


+ ID der Publikation: hslu_85864 + Art des Beitrages: Wissenschaftliche Medien + Jahrgang: 41 + Sprache: Englisch + Letzte Aktualisierung: 2021-11-10 14:47:48



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