Fairwork Lebanon! The Policy Initiative joins the Fairwork network to monitor working conditions in the Lebanese Platform Economy

Posted on 17.10.2022
Photo: Marc Fayad

We are pleased to annouce that The Policy Initiative (TPI) will lead the implementation of the Fairwork project in Lebanon, investigating the fairness of working conditions in the Lebanese platform economy.

While Principal Investigator Dr. Sami Atallah will oversee the implementation of the project, Wassim Maktabi will be the project coordinator. Hussein Cheaito and Sami Zoughaib are also memebers of the team at TPI and will serve as researchers. 

Lebanon’s labour market has been facing severe shocks since 2019. In fact, over a period of three years, the local currency lost 90% of its value, the economy contracted by 58%, the unemployment rate surpassed 40%, and the poverty rate reached 74%. Based on the conventional literature, the increased precariousness of the labour market, as well as pervasive economic hardship and uncertainty, are likely to push people into non-standard forms of employment.

Although there is a lack of data on the market size of Lebanon’s gig economy, its growth can be inferred from the increase in the number of digital labour platforms operating in the country and the significant scale-up of Toters—a Lebanese platform-based order and delivery service. 

Under the current legal framework for employment in Lebanon, platform-based workers are excluded from social security and excluded from safety net programs. This systemic vulnerability makes room for digital labour platforms to effectively dictate the extent to which their non-employee workers have access to standard labour rights and decent living standards. 

Through this collaboration with Fairwork, TPI aims to bring nuance to the study of the growing landscape of precarious platform-based work in Lebanon and advance adequate labour rights to protect emerging employment statuses in the gig economy from current systemic vulnerabilities.