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.

 

Digital platforms

Digital platforms include a very diverse range of emerging services and economic activities carried out using the Internet. Some examples are Amazon and e-bay for e-commerce, Uber for transportation, Airbnb for accommodation, and Freelancer and Upwork for freelance work.

While their business models vary (i.e. collaborative and sharing vs. intermediaries, and so on), the increasing use of Internet and mobile devices has fostered the growth of these platforms in a large number of countries.

On the one hand, digital platforms impact on existing businesses (e.g. taxis, libraries,) and often change the nature of the employer-employee relations to self-employment. On the other hand, these platforms overcome personal barriers to labour participation such as mobility disabilities and removes the geographic boundaries by enabling cross-borders activities.

The emergence of these platforms pose challenges for social security administrations such as enrolling workers of digital platforms - which may be difficult to reach. They may be working across-borders, so  enforcing the compliance of social security regulations may be a further challenge. These challenges may undermine the capacity to protect the social rights of the involved workers and also the economic sustainability of the schemes.

Ten global challenges for social security

Media Monitor Media Monitor

30 April 2020

opengovasia.com (29.04.2020) 20,000 common service centres will offer an Aadhaar updating service, catering to a large number of citizens in rural parts of the country.

21 April 2020

The Economic Times (20.004.2020) The government has fast-tracked its plan to provide social security for gig economy workers and those in the unorganised sectors, anticipating a significant increase in their numbers as unemployment soars due to the Covid-19 crisis.

26 March 2020

Financial Times (25.03.2020) Disruptions caused by coronavirus have exposed the gaps in the welfare system

26 March 2020

Eurofound (19.03.2020) The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is starting to have a serious impact on the world economy. The consequences for platform workers are especially severe in light of forced work stoppages due to self-isolation and lack of sick pay in many cases. Recent media coverage shows that platform workers in the transport sector (ride hailing and food delivery) are most affected, while professional services performed online (such as remote consultations with health professionals) could help to reduce the pressure on health systems.

20 February 2020

EURACTIV.com (19.02.2020) Artificial Intelligence technologies carrying a high-risk of abuse that could potentially lead to an erosion of fundamental rights will be subjected to a series of new requirements, the European Commission announced on Wednesday (19 February).

14 February 2020

businessmirror.com.ph (13.02.2020) AS the country’s so-called gig economy industry continues to rise, lawmakers are pushing for measures to protect freelance workers by establishing a basic regulatory framework to enable them to anticipate challenges ahead.

3 February 2020

The Local (30.01.2020) Companies are increasingly outsourcing services, and as a result the number of self-employed workers in Germany has risen sharply. Many are learning that working one job is just not enough.

29 October 2019

Biometric Update (18.10.2019) The potential of biometric ID systems for abuse in some countries is a major threat to individuals, and current practices risk the world “stumbling zombie-like into a digital welfare dystopia,” according UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Professor Philip Alston.

25 October 2019

World Economic Forum (23.09.2019) Debates about the gig economy tend to focus on transportation network companies (TNCs) and other locally provided services. Less discussed but of growing importance in the world of work are cross-border, web-based, digital labour platforms.

22 October 2019

The Guardian (14.10.2019) In an exclusive global series, the Guardian lays bare the tech revolution transforming the welfare system worldwide – while penalising the most vulnerable

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