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The self-employment justice gap: The case for online dispute resolution

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This report makes the case for an online dispute resolution (ODR) service for self-employed workers and explores the role such a service could provide. It shows that self-employed workers face challenges distinct from employees and argues for new systems and processes to address the consequent justice gap.

The growth of new forms of self-employment and the platform economy means there is a particular and pressing need to tackle the problem of incorrect employment status, often labelled as ‘bogus self-employment’. But a new service should also resolve problems for genuinely self-employed workers, to enable them to make full use of their rights, establish their tax status and claim late payments.

The report draws on examples of legal technology from the Netherlands, Canada and the United States that seek to promote and widen access to justice. These innovations demonstrate ‘proof of concept’ and should be used as a basis for developing a UK online dispute resolution (ODR) service that can be used to address employment and workplace issues for the low-paid self-employed.

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Jason Brock

Jason Brock is a former senior researcher at the Fabian Society and is currently Labour leader of Reading Borough Council.

@JN_Brock

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This report makes the case for an online dispute resolution (ODR) service for self-employed workers and explores the role such a service could provide. It shows that self-employed workers face challenges distinct from employees and argues for new sys...

Read more

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