Labor Law Needs a Check Up
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Labor Law Needs a Check Up

THE INCREASINGLY MASSIVE INTRODUCTION OF TECHNOLOGIES IN EMPLOYMENT COULD CREATE PROFOUND UPHEAVALS IN LAW. BUT, AS EXPLAINED IN A PAPER BY ANTONIO ALOISI, LABOR LAW SIMPLY NEEDS TO BE UPDATED

“It has been said that, when it comes to innovating, you should ask for forgiveness, not permission. I find this rhetoric to be deceptive.” Antonio Aloisi is a Teaching Fellow at the Department of Legal Studies at Bocconi. He addressed the topic of the impact of technology on jobs in the essay Macchine, algoritmi, piattaforme: poteri aumentati e libertà virtuali. Appunti sul futuro del diritto del lavoro, co-authored with Valerio De Stefano (KU Leuven) and forthcoming in Il Mulino. The paper is an attempt to shift the debate on the impact of technological change from quantitative analysis (jobs lost, jobs gained) to qualitative analysis. “Pragmatism is beneficial to the assessment of the implications for work and employment of automation, digitalization and platforms. There is no need to divide ourselves into apocalyptic and apologetic teams.”
 
Many new devices, from wearables to AI items, allow a continuous and penetrating control of performance indicators so that employers can exert power without responsibility on self-employed contractors. “Some call it organized irresponsibility. What to do? The new models should be reconciled with the existing regulatory framework. Opposing interests should be balanced through dialogue between parties and collective bargaining. Given the supranational nature of the platforms, it must be done at the European level. This is the only way to boost innovation through technology.”
 
In the meanwhile, the first rulings by European courts are contradictory. The Valencia court ruled that food delivery riders are employees because they are subject to strict controls, while the Court of Appeal of Paris ruled them to be self-employed contractors since they are free to choose when to work. “Just do not think that the existing labor laws are outdated. They just need to be checked to ensure their resilience.”

Read more about this topic:
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by Claudio Todesco

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