We are living in an era of great change, perhaps the greatest since the Industrial Revolution itself. We need to understand that the future has arrived, it is now the present and we have to accept the changes or get left behind.
We now have block chain technology, self - driving vehicles and delivery of parcels by drone, among many other things which tell us that the future has arrived. My concern has always been not innovation, but how to manage the inevitable change process that comes with innovation . Unfortunately what we are seeing at the moment is that innovation is going full steam ahead which is understandable and the rest of society is still using the previous mode of thinking. For example we live in a world where people are fearful of their jobs on the one hand with mergers acquisition and restructuring but have a 25-30 year commitment to buy a house on the other.
This brings me to the main point of this piece, what future for the traditional method of basis of employment, the contract of employment. It is a basis of employment that has served us well but the reality is that less people will have their employment regulated by it as the " Uberisation" of the economy marches forward. While the Labor law in a number of jurisdictions will " deem " a contractor to be an employee in certain circumstances the concern must be for those doing one off " gigs" or contracts and what the implications of this may be for the relative bargaining power of the parties. This is important when you consider that moving to the gig economy can bring considerable savings in terms of on-costs for businesses.
So the contract of employment model, and the protections that it can afford an employee by the time you look at both contractual and Labour law benefits will still be around but less people over time will, in my view, have their work arrangements regulated by it. Consideration needs to be given to the relative bargaining power of the parties in the gig economy and a method arrived at to ensure some fairness and not just a " rush to the bottom" in terms of rates . People already in the workforce and those preparing to enter it also need to be made aware of the new realities rather than be taught the models of the past.