What’s so new about the “gig” economy? And what should be done about it?

Dr Jim Stanford, Centre for Future of Work (Australia Institute) will discuss the development of platform-based businesses (like Uber), which utilise on-call workers has led some commentators to proclaim the end of traditional “jobs” as we know them. Instead of being employees, workers will support themselves as flexible, free independent suppliers.

Some welcome this development, others fear its consequences for the stability and quality of work – but all see it as a process driven primarily by technology, and most would consider it inevitable.

Standing in the way of the “gig” economy is seen as no more feasible than the efforts of Luddites to stop the steam engine and the spinning jenny.

This lecture will put the “gig” economy in historical and theoretical perspective, identifying the reasons why businesses are expanding this type of employment, and the potential social, legal and political responses to the rise of “gig” work.

UWA Business School, Perth, Western Australia, Australia