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New workers and new rules to be devised

Digital content creators under scrutiny by labour legislation

 

The evolution of production leads to the creation of new kinds of entrepreneurs and workers, and it’s the constant renewal of production culture, that – though perhaps ignored by most – endures at the heart of companies. New jobs, then, but also new – or renewed – rights. Rights that need to be carefully identified and, if need be, protected. The contribution by Anna Rota (PhD in Labour Law at the University of Bologna), entitled “I creatori di contenuti digitali sono lavoratori?” (“Are digital content creators workers?”), recently published in the journal Labour & Law Issues, revolves around these intricate issues.

Rota begins her investigation by examining what happened last April, when the Italian Chamber of Deputies’ XI Commissione Lavoro Pubblico e Privato (11th Commission for public and private labour) launched an inquiry into the growing numbers of digital content creators. The goal of the initiative was to acquire useful information for the introduction of legislative action in keeping with the characteristics of this type of workers. Positioned between employed and independent workers, with substantial technological training, in a professional relationship negotiated among themselves and employers, lost into a segment that is in constant (and fast) evolution, these workers belong to a category that, perhaps more than others, represent a most significant concrete model that could help us understand how employment and production systems are changing.

Thus, Anna Rota first analyses the typical features of this new kind of work, as well as other jobs carried out on online platforms, then goes on to explore more in depth the nature of the professional agreements for the production of digital content, and finally identifies the concrete terms of the relationship between employer and workers, to determine which main characteristics might inform a new contractual set of regulations.

Anna Rota’s investigation is not an easy read and, indeed, some sections have been written for experts rather than the common reader, yet it is an important work, because it attempts to bring some order to a complex, varied and changeable topic. Once more, what transpires is the need to continuously update and replace the rules in line with the evolution of actual situations and production culture.

I creatori di contenuti digitali sono lavoratori? (“Are digital content creators workers?”),

Anna Rota

Labour & Law Issues, 7, no. 2/2021

Digital content creators under scrutiny by labour legislation

 

The evolution of production leads to the creation of new kinds of entrepreneurs and workers, and it’s the constant renewal of production culture, that – though perhaps ignored by most – endures at the heart of companies. New jobs, then, but also new – or renewed – rights. Rights that need to be carefully identified and, if need be, protected. The contribution by Anna Rota (PhD in Labour Law at the University of Bologna), entitled “I creatori di contenuti digitali sono lavoratori?” (“Are digital content creators workers?”), recently published in the journal Labour & Law Issues, revolves around these intricate issues.

Rota begins her investigation by examining what happened last April, when the Italian Chamber of Deputies’ XI Commissione Lavoro Pubblico e Privato (11th Commission for public and private labour) launched an inquiry into the growing numbers of digital content creators. The goal of the initiative was to acquire useful information for the introduction of legislative action in keeping with the characteristics of this type of workers. Positioned between employed and independent workers, with substantial technological training, in a professional relationship negotiated among themselves and employers, lost into a segment that is in constant (and fast) evolution, these workers belong to a category that, perhaps more than others, represent a most significant concrete model that could help us understand how employment and production systems are changing.

Thus, Anna Rota first analyses the typical features of this new kind of work, as well as other jobs carried out on online platforms, then goes on to explore more in depth the nature of the professional agreements for the production of digital content, and finally identifies the concrete terms of the relationship between employer and workers, to determine which main characteristics might inform a new contractual set of regulations.

Anna Rota’s investigation is not an easy read and, indeed, some sections have been written for experts rather than the common reader, yet it is an important work, because it attempts to bring some order to a complex, varied and changeable topic. Once more, what transpires is the need to continuously update and replace the rules in line with the evolution of actual situations and production culture.

I creatori di contenuti digitali sono lavoratori? (“Are digital content creators workers?”),

Anna Rota

Labour & Law Issues, 7, no. 2/2021