Introducing the iLabour Project

Labour markets are in the midst of a dramatic transformation. Standard employment is increasingly supplemented and substituted by temporary gig work mediated by online platforms. The iLabour research project at the Oxford Internet Institute examines the social, organizational, and policy implications of this shift. The project is funded by the European Research Council and led by Professor Vili Lehdonvirta.

Today, enterprises from small to large are using online labour platforms to access specialized skills and to seek flexibility and cost savings. Dozens of platforms have emerged to cater to different types of work, ranging from small microtasks to complex technical projects and professional services. Tens of millions of workers are thought to have sought work through these platforms, and for many they now form the main source of income.

The iLabour project team – Prof Lehdonvirta, Dr Otto Kässi, Gretta Corporaal, and Dr Alex Wood – approach this phenomenon through three work packages: measuring, organising, and having a voice in the online gig economy. The project’s first deliverable is the Online Labour Index.

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The iLabour project is funded by a European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant running from September 2015 to August 2020.

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