Protection against unfair contract terms for gig economy prticipants under Malaysian and European law: Case study on online food delivery services
Promovendus: Dhr. M.N.A. Bin M Fuad
Promotores: Prof.Mr. M.B.M. Loos, Mw. Dr. C. Leone
Duur: 1/9/2022 - 31/8/2025
The proposed research will investigate unfair terms that appear to be experienced by gig economy participants in their contractual relationships with online platforms, legal gaps in the current Malaysian legal framework in tackling the said problem and potential legal measures necessary to resolve such predicament. At present, protection against unfair contract terms provided by Part IIIA of Malaysian Consumer Protection Act 1999 only deals with consumers. Given the gig economy participants (e.g. SMEs restaurateurs and delivery riders) could not be categorized as consumers, they could not enjoy the fruit of the existing legal protection and therefore may be exposed to and vulnerable against unfair terms introduced by their online platforms counterparts, without adequate legal mechanisms in place to properly address them. Hence, this research intends to primarily answer two main questions:- (1) whether both SMEs restaurateurs and delivery riders should be protected against unfair terms imposed by online platforms; and ( 2) whether the purported protection should be similarly fashioned as the protection already accorded to the consumers and if not, how so? In answering the former, identification and analysis on:- (a) terms imposed by the platforms that appear to be unfair against the gig economy participants and to what extent the purported terms are necessary to protect the legitimate interest of the online platforms; and (b) how Malaysian existing laws (statutory or otherwise) are insufficient in protecting the gig economy participants from unfair contract terms; will be duly conducted. In addressing the latter, an analysis on existing legal frameworks that are being and/or may be regulated under European law will be conducted.