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Gionata Cavallini and Matteo Avogaro

The chapter analyses the labour relationships emerging in the so-called gig economy (or platform economy), as including the two main categories of work-on-demand-via-app and crowd work. The process of Uberisation of work represents a key challenge for labour lawyers, as it jeopardises, together with employment law rules and standards, the very founding idea that labour is not a commodity. Companies such as Uber and Amazon Mechanical Turk deny all employment rights to their workers, claiming they act as a virtual marketplace. In order to provide an in depth analysis of the phenomenon and of the possible solutions, the analysis is conducted in four parts. The first one addresses the most relevant types of platform work and the contractual schemes adopted by platforms. The second part provides an overview of the various approaches adopted in different jurisdictions to face the challenge, both at an interpretative and at a policymaking level. The third focuses attention on possible solutions to enhance gig workers' protection, in the light of organisations – such as umbrella companies and forms of associational unionism – based on 'new mutualism'. The fourth and final part makes reference to the debate started in Italy in 2016 about possible remedies deriving from the recent 'Jobs Act' reform, highlighted through an examination of the so called Foodora case, the first mobilisation organised by gig workers in Italy, in order to investigate whether these juridical instruments could be the basis for an enhancement of protections concerning gig workers at European level.