Workers under customary gig-economy arrangements do not usually have the rights and entitlements typically accorded by national labour laws to employees. The possibility of giving them access to employment rights and social protections through the recognition of the ‘employee’ status has been the subject of many disputes all around the world. This chapter will give account of the toolbox at the disposal of labour courts and tribunals, that is to say the main employment tests applied in the various national jurisdictions. It will then move to the examination of the Courts’ decisions in a number of jurisdictions (including US, UK, France, Spain, Italy), trying to work out the common patterns behind their outcomes. We will see how these decisions suggest that the gig-workers classification remains pretty uncertain. Some kind of regulative intervention is therefore still highly needed. Ways for moving past the current uncertainty will be explored by referring to the three main proposals on the table. We will eventually opt for an approach very similar to that undertaken by the European Court of Justice over the last decade, which has been able to work out a different distribution of employment protections between employee and self-employed workers.
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