Digital economy

Digital Economy and Social Security Observatory

The Digital Economy will profoundly transform our daily life, how we work and how we live.

The Observatory will provide ISSA members with an understanding of the opportunities and the challenges it will present to social security administrations.

It will look at this transformation from two angles: the changing environment in which social security institutions evolve and how Social Security institutions themselves will be impacted and can respond to these challenges.


Large scale automation

Large-scale automation of industrial production and services is based on applying a range of advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, cognitive computing, big data, Blockchain, Internet of Things and robotics among others.

Although very diverse, the application of these technologies enables the automation - to varying extents – of a number of tasks usually done by people. Some examples are the usage of increasingly autonomous robots in industrial production lines, self-services managed by artificial intelligence systems, and autonomous vehicles. These all combine all the technologies mentioned.

While such large-scale automation will undoubtedly impact on employment, the implementation of such automated systems is highly complex and potentially costly Furthermore, these “intelligent” systems have to be “trained” to specific application scenarios - which adds complexity and costs. Their potential usage cannot cover a large spectrum of activities such as creative and analytical ones (e.g. determining if software systems are correct).

Social security administrations could anticipate local impacts, particularly unemployment scenarios, and promote reconversion through training. Also, the construction, installation and training of these systems constitute economic activities themselves which require business know-how.

Ten global challenges for social security

Media Monitor Media Monitor

4 December 2018

Times of India (12.11.2018) While the CPM has been vociferously expressing concerns on surveillance and privacy regarding the use of biometric-based identity, the state government’s proposed verification process of welfare pension beneficiaries will be based on biometric authentication.

29 November 2018

Cour de cassation (28.11.2018) Par un arrêt rendu le 28 novembre 2018, la chambre sociale de la Cour de cassation statue pour la première fois sur la qualification du contrat liant un livreur à une plate-forme numérique.

29 November 2018

Le Figaro (28.11.2018) La Cour de cassation a établi mercredi un lien de subordination entre la défunte société de livraison de repas Take Eat Easy et l'un de ses coursiers à vélo, une décision inédite qui pourrait entrouvrir la porte du salariat à certains livreurs travaillant pour des plateformes numériques.

21 November 2018

 Healthcare Informatics (21.11.2018) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has made strides in providing more affordable, accessible care for all patients. A new rule allowing Medicare Advantage beneficiaries to access telehealth from home was recently proposed. CMS also released its CY 2019 Physician Fee Schedule final rule, which includes reimbursement for telehealth and virtual care services.

19 November 2018

NZZ (09.11.2018) Immer mehr Menschen arbeiten via Internetplattformen. Um die Innovationskraft des digitalen Arbeitsmodells auszuschöpfen, sollte man die wachsende Flexibilität mit sozialer Sicherheit kombinieren. Es drängen sich neue Formen der Absicherung auf.

15 November 2018 (07.11.2018) Social protection systems are often still designed for the archetypical full-time dependent employee. Work patterns deviating from this model – be it self-employment or online "gig work" – can lead to gaps in social protection coverage. Globalisation and digitalisation are likely to exacerbate this discrepancy as new technologies make it easier and cheaper to offer and find work online, and online work platforms have experienced spectacular growth in recent years. While new technologies and the new forms of work they create bring the incomplete social protection of non-standard workers to the forefront of the international policy debate, non-standard work and policies to address such workers’ situation are not new: across the OECD on average, one in six workers is self-employed, and a further one in eight employees is on a temporary contract. Thus, there are lessons to be learned from country experiences of providing social protection to non-standard workers. This report presents seven policy examples from OECD countries, including the "artists’ insurance system" in Germany or voluntary unemployment insurance for self-employed workers in Sweden. It draws on these studies to suggest policy options for providing social protection for non-standard workers, and for increasing the income security of on-call workers and those on flexible hours contracts.

15 November 2018

Les Echos (18.10.2018) Si les effets de l'automatisation sur l'emploi sont discutés, les études disponibles montrent qu'elle favorise les inégalités. L'utilisation de la robotique s'accélère dans l'industrie. Selon les derniers chiffres de la Fédération internationale de la robotique (IFR), le stock mondial de robots industriels a doublé au cours des dix dernières années.

8 November 2018

Alan Turing Institute (24.10.2018)  In this document, we offer a review of recent literature on the future of work. Using a critical review method, the report synthesises key findings about the future of work focusing on three main areas: broad research findings, emerging research directions, and innovative data science research directions. The first part of the review summarises and discusses changes in the nature and creation of jobs, assignments, and tasks; changing organisation of work and production; varying impacts of the changing nature of work on society; and the governance of these changes through politics, policy and institutions. The second section addresses potential drivers of the changing nature of work; disparate impacts of technology on different tasks; challenges for young people to boost employability; impacts of the changing nature of work on the disenfranchised; and proposals for policies and governance models to manage the transitions related to the future of work. The third section discusses research approaches and findings around the susceptibility of tasks and assignments to computerisation; industrial diversification and data-driven policy tools; and development of online labour markets.

5 November 2018

ILO (05.11.2018) Organized with ILO assistance, the first annual conference following up on the Digital Agenda for the Western Balkans examined opportunities of a knowledge-based economy in Serbia.

2 November 2018

Eurofound (24.09.2018) Platform work is a form of employment that uses an online platform to match the supply of and demand for paid labour. In Europe, platform work is still small in scale but is rapidly developing. The types of work offered through platforms are ever-increasing, as are the challenges for existing regulatory frameworks. This report explores the working and employment conditions of three of the most common types of platform work in Europe. For each of these types, Eurofound assesses the physical and social environment, autonomy, employment status and access to social protection, and earnings and taxation based on interviews with platform workers. A comparative analysis of the regulatory frameworks applying to platform work in 18 EU Member States accompanies this review. This looks into workers’ employment status, the formal relationships between clients, workers and platforms, and the organisation and representation of workers and platforms.

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