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Lebanon’s “Missing Middle”: Online delivery workers under precarious conditions

Wassim Maktabi,
Sami Zoughaib,
Carol Abi Ghanem
Source: Toters website

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted economic activity and labor markets around the world and proved the need for better and more inclusive social protection systems. In Lebanon, the national social protection system is fragmented and leaves populations excluded such as platform-based delivery workers who played an essential role during the pandemic. This policy brief demonstrates that platform-based workers fall right within a category of people excluded from social protection, known as the “missing middle”, which impedes their access to social insurance, social safety nets, and relief interventions provided during the pandemic. The brief sheds light on the legal employment status of platform-based workers in Lebanon and their precarious labor conditions. The case of online delivery workers in Lebanon echoes the need for a universal social protection floor and a revision of the Lebanese labor code to guarantee the rights of emerging employment statuses.

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