FGV Direito SP survey reveals the challenges of regulation in Gig Economy in Brazil

FGV analyzed 101 Gig Economy platforms operating in the country and concluded that there is a lack of transparency in terms of use and a lack of information about the number and profile of workers in this ecosystem.

The Center for Teaching and Research in Innovation (CEPI) at the School of
São Paulo Law at Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV Direito SP) developed research on Gig Economy (a business environment in which human labor is intermediated through digital platforms, in which flexible, occasional and non-permanent contracts prevail). The project is the result of a collaboration between CEPI and iFood aiming to
qualification of public debate involving Law and new technologies.

The study, which analyzed 101 digital companies operating in Brazil in June 2021, identified that the Gig Economy involves a wide variety of economic activities: delivery of products; passenger transport; advocacy and legal services; teaching and training; cleaning and cleaning; small task freelancers; animal care; health and wellness; programming and information technology (IT); small repairs and works; child care; hotel and Tourism; cargo transport and platforms for multiple activities.

It is not new that the so-called Gig Economy is growing in Brazil. The phenomenon gained even more strength during the pandemic, which, on the one hand, led to an increase in the use of these
platforms by users, and, on the other, the consequent increase in the number of
workers on the platforms, an alternative for many people in the face of the high rate of
unemployment in the country.

This equation has raised a series of discussions about the need
and the urgency of regulation of work in this business environment promoted by
technological development.

The research carried out by CEPI demonstrates the size of the challenge: how to regulate a sector so
diverse and still lacking information on the number and profile of workers in this

Ana Paula Camelo, lead researcher of the study, highlights the opportune moment of
collection of information. “Because we are facing an expanding sector, whose
complexity was accentuated by the context of the pandemic, we identified the need to
map and understand the national scenario to contribute to the multisectoral discussion on
regulation of work in this ecosystem”.


There are several Bills (PL) in the Chamber of Deputies and the Federal Senate dealing with
about the matter. Between 2015 and July 2021, the research mapped 128 related federal PLs
the regulation of work on digital platforms. Of these, 59 PLs are aimed at drivers
applications; 21 to delivery people; 35 to drivers and delivery people; 12 to workers
in general; and 1 to artists and performers of audiovisual works.

The topics covered in the bills are varied: there are PLs that propose that remuneration
is referenced to the minimum wage, considering the hours worked, subject to adjustments
periodicals and prohibiting their link to the evaluation of the worker; there are PLs that define
stipulation of deadlines and payment methods, as well as rules on transparency in
remuneration; there are PLs that limit the commission rate charged by platforms; many PLs
provide for the obligation to offer life insurance, health care and
against material damage; and other PLs also bring labor scope benefits and
social security (paid leave and contributions to retirement).

Case study

Given this heterogeneous scenario, 10 cases were highlighted for further analysis.
in-depth analysis of criteria related to remuneration, work evaluation and peculiarities
functioning of the platforms. These cases were selected taking into account the five
categories that presented the highest results in the economic activity criterion: delivery
of products, passenger transport, law and the like, education and training and transport
of loads.

The study reveals that these companies identify their workers as self-employed and that the
remuneration is calculated per task and is, as a rule, defined by the platform or
agreed between the parties.

In cases where the resource for evaluating service provision, there was a predominance of
evaluation system carried out by workers and service contractors/consumers.

There are also platforms that adopt an evaluation system only by the contractor
of the service/consumer.

According to Olívia Pasqualeto, researcher at CEPI and professor at FGV Direito SP, “the cases
analyzed highlight some of the challenges of an expanding and still poorly regulated sector”.

This makes us reflect on how to promote better working conditions and how to ensure
more transparency in the relationship between workers and platforms. Given the heterogeneity
(of workers, platforms, activities, etc.) that marks the Gig Economy, it is also highlighted
more the need for regulation based on participation and social dialogue to
construct legislation that is adequate to respond to existing problems in the

Information to support decision making

It is worth mentioning that, despite the rise of the Gig Economy, there is still little information about the
number of workers linked to the sector in Brazil and around the world.

These workers are heterogeneous, making it difficult to identify a single profile. Some provide
services through digital platforms to supplement their income, while others have
This work is his main source of income. Data from PNAD-Covid-19, in October 2020,
indicate that there were 688,256 people working as self-employed motorcycle couriers or delivery drivers,
a number that tends to involve Gig Economy workers.

The research also reveals that the websites of some platforms offer few details about
its operation. The terms of use are not always available for consultation without
register as a potential worker. And even when there are terms of use
available, there is not always detail on all the criteria defined for analyzing the
proposal for joining the platform, such as remuneration calculation and evaluation model for

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