Business programme

Digital Platforms: Identifying Where the Civil Code Ends and the Labour Code Begins

Congress Centre, conference hall D2
Digitalization: The Law of the Future or the Future of the Law?
The current legal framework governing labour relations was inherited from a previous technological era. It is unsurprising then that the onset of the platform economy has shaken its very foundations. This new structure links new communication practices, new algorithm-based labour management technologies, and a new role and place for labour in modern life. This is a global challenge, and each country, each national economy, and each legal system is attempting to find its own way to respond to this challenge. These responses are likely to differ in line with specific national characteristics. Russia is no exception in this regard. More than 10 million people in the country are already part of the platform economy in one way or another. Of this figure, a quarter work in the production of goods and services. The freedom to choose what to produce and for whom, and what service to provide to whom at what price all form the basis of aggregator platforms. It is their driving force. And it falls within the scope of Russia’s Civil Code. However, this generally healthy process is sometimes infiltrated with criminal practices, whereby people are coerced to abandon their labour rights in favour of pseudo civil law contracts. What can be done to separate freedom of choice in self-employment from a fictitious form of freedom sometimes forced upon employees? Is the presumption of employer-employee relations a protective or harmful mechanism on the part of the state, and a hinderance in civil law relations? Is it acceptable that the tax authorities of some Russian regions now practice the compulsory re-classification of civil law relations to labour relations, without at least one of the parties having the right to appeal? What are such conflicts rooted in: law enforcement in a disputed area, or imperfect legislation? Who will protect the civil rights of self employed people in the same way the Labour Inspectorate is tasked with protecting the labour rights of employees?


Sergey Zverev
Head of the School of Communications, National Research University Higher School of Economics; President, CROS


Andrey Isaev
First Deputy Head of the United Russia Faction in the State Duma of the Russian Federation; Member of the Committee of the State Duma of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation on Labor, Social Policy and Veterans Affairs
Alexey Minaev
Deputy Managing Director, Ozon
Ekaterina Papchenkova
Vice President, Director of the Center for Regulatory Policy, Center for Strategic Research
Anton Petrakov
Director for Government Relations, Yandex.Taxi
Oksana Sinyavskaya
Deputy Director of the Institute for Social Policy, National Research University Higher School of Economics