Picture: 123RF/PHONLAWAT CHAICHEEVINLIKIT
Picture: 123RF/PHONLAWAT CHAICHEEVINLIKIT

In the latest edition of Business Law Focus, host Evan Pickworth interviews executive in the Employment Law practice at ENS Africa, Dion Masher, on redefining employment for the gig economy.

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SA and Africa in general are behind the curve in implementing laws dealing with the “gig” economy.

Business Day law and tax editor Evan Pickworth. Picture: REBECCA HEARFIELD
Business Day law and tax editor Evan Pickworth. Picture: REBECCA HEARFIELD

The definition of “employee”, for instance, comes with many layers of protection for those who qualify, while independent contractors do not receive the same level of safeguards.

But if those working in the gig economy do not fall within the ambit of either “employee” or “independent contractor”, then how best to regulate them? The recent Uber decision in the UK provides interesting guidance on how to treat workers in the gig economy, as they should be entitled to a level of protection.

It is clear a purposive interpretation of existing laws will be critical as the fourth industrial revolution takes off.

The rights and obligations of employers when replacing their workforce with machines, bots and AI are among the upcoming labour law challenges to prepare for.

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