Academic to share research on violence and harassment in the digital economy

The International Labour Organization’s Bureau for Workers’ Activities (ACTRAV) and the University will launch a new research on psychosocial risks, violence and harassment that workers face in digitalised working environments.

Dr Phoebe Moore, Associate Professor of Political Economy and Technology from our School of Business, will present the findings of her research in an “Agora” setting from 11am to 12pm on Tuesday, February 6th at the International Labour Organization (ILO) headquarters in Geneva, Room XI. A larger audience will be able to join via Facebook live

The study highlights the ways in which new technologies are being used for management purposes in the workplace today as a professional environment that comprises factories, streets but also homes. Dr Moore explained further: “This includes the ’gig economy’, automation practices and algorithmic management, people analytics, computerisation, wearable tracking. Overall, it’s about the use of big data and quantification to make selective, predictive and prescriptive decisions related to work, workers, and the workplace.

“I’m honoured to be the researcher who has been selected to address the question of how these risks arise in the digitalised world of work. Violence and harassment unfortunately thrive when rights at work are often non-existent.”

Anna Biondi, Deputy-Director of ACTRAV, said: “The study by Dr Moore articulates several decent work deficits that contribute to violence and harassment at work. The good news is that trade unions are becoming more and more active in addressing the issue and that the forthcoming ILO standard has the potential to be the milestone for labour law and collective agreements.”

The paper is part of a research package prepared under the auspices of ACTRAV ahead of the first discussion of a proposed labour standard on “Ending violence and harassment towards women and men in the world of work” at the ILO’s International Labour Conference in June 2018.