On-demand work via mobile apps gained momentum in Serbia with the surge of Covid-19. Lockdown measures which have been off and on since April 2020 have boosted the usage of delivery and ride-hailing apps, while also bringing in new customers. This growth attracted a considerable number of workers willing to trade full-time employment, and related social and health benefits, for better remuneration and more flexible working hours. Despite these seemingly important qualities and advantages of gig work, CENTER’s most recent research shows that digital platforms have been pushing delivery workers and ride-hailing drivers into a vulnerable socio-economic position and away from internationally recognised labour standards as enshrined in the Decent Work Agenda.
By becoming members of the Fairwork network, we in the Public Policy Research Center are looking forward to revealing similarities and differences between gig workers in Serbia and their peers in other economies globally. We are hoping that the Fairwork framework that rates companies based on the working conditions of gig workers will underpin and inspire a policy debate in Serbia about the of on-demand platform workers. Not least important is our wish to avert mobile app platforms from using regulatory loopholes in order to escape applying decent work standards to gig workers in the country.
The Serbian team is comprised of Branka Anđelković, Tanja Jakobi, Maja Kovač and Slobodan Golušin. Branka and Tanja will lead the research strategy, while Maja and Slobodan are co-investigators for Fairwork Serbia.