[PRESS RELEASE] Gig Economy Regulation: What’s the Future? | Diffusion #65

December 20, 2021 5:50 pm || By

Youtube, 2 December 2021 – The practice of the gig economy is a new phenomenon driven by the development of information technology and the economy. The gig economy refers to the modern form of employment, i.e. casual workers. However, in practice, this working mechanism does not yet have a regulatory basis that can guarantee the rights of its workers. Responding to this phenomenon, CfDS collaborated with BEM of the Faculty of Economics, Andalas University, Padang held Diffusion #65 with the theme Gig Economy Regulation: What is the Future? Presenting Paska Darmawan as Manager of Digital Intelligence Lab CfDS and Fairwork Indonesia researcher as a speaker with Nabiyla Risfa Izzati, a Lecturer of Labor Law, Faculty of Law UGM.

The gig economy in Indonesia

Paska Darmawan started the event by explaining the current state of the economic platform in Indonesia. He explained that many platforms provide online multi-service services that can complete quickly. This practice is called gig, which emphasizes completing work in a short period. The gig work is flexible, which could create many job opportunities, thereby attracting the community’s attention in the work scheme. Paska observed that the flexibility in the gig economy could be divided into two, time flexibility and space flexibility. Time flexibility stands when workers can schedule their own time to start and finish the work or manage the work period according to their needs per day / per week / per month. Meanwhile, the flexibility of place is when workers can do the work anywhere.

Paska also continued his observations regarding the flexibility in the gig work for female online motorcycle/taxi (ojol) drivers on the Gojek and Grab platforms. He regarded that flexibility was the key to encouraging people to become ojol drivers. Although being an online driver was famous because of its flexibility & could help women gain cash-on-hand, female online drivers face many obstacles. The female online drivers encounter various challenges, such as the stigma of women as ojol drivers, gender inequality, and the double burden on domestic life. Paska believed that flexibility held two sides for women engaged in gig work. First, as the breadwinner of the family, female drivers experienced long working hours to achieve the target wage bonus from the platform. Therefore, it became an obstacle for them to divide their time between domestic work and ojol work. Second, they are often constrained by the stigma that affects the high cancellation rate of platform users. On the other hand, female drivers who only use ojol as a side income could socialize and break away from the domestic routine with these gig jobs. Paska also emphasized, “Gig work has failed to deliver on the promise of flexibility and work-life balance to those who need it most—marginalized women who carry the double burden of domestic work and housework.”

Gig economy regulations in Indonesia

The discussion was continued by Nabiyla Risfa Izzati, where she highlighted gigs in the context of regulation. In Indonesia’s gig economy, she said that the platform’s working relationship with gig workers was identified as a partnership. According to Nabiyla, the gig could only be recognized as a partnership because of the legal loophole in Law No. 13 of 2003. The regulation was still conventional to fulfill the elements of work, wages, and orders. Therefore, it is used by the platform to quibble and avoid responsibility. The reason was that wages and demands were not given by the platform but by the application user. As a result, labor law does not accommodate changes in work relations in the gig economy. The absence of the rule of law can be detrimental to ojol driver workers because the risk of their work is not supported by social security, wage guarantees, and safety guarantees.

Responding to this phenomenon, Nabiyla saw that the government seems to be prudently ‘disrupting’ the current state of the gig economy. Due to the large capacity of the platform to absorb labor which was closely related to the national economy. Hence, to encourage the government to realize the importance of the feasibility of gig practice and revise labor regulations, she encouraged us as a society and users of platform applications to increase our understanding and build awareness regarding the gig economy issues. She also accentuated, “It is important to contextualize the issue of the gig economy with discussions like this because, in Indonesia, the trend is a viral-based policy. So talking digitally together, we can promote the feasibility of gig work in Indonesia”.

Author: Dea Arum Komala
Editor : Ruth Simanjuntak