Support and standardize the healthy development of gig economy service platforms

  Under the current "platform + sharing" economic model, various emerging "gig economy service platforms" (hereinafter referred to as "gig service platforms") can provide flexible employment, increase employment opportunities, reduce labor costs, activate the labor market, and improve labor allocation Providing professional and convenient services such as efficiency has become an important facility and style for the development of platform economy and sharing economy.

The gig service platform provides labor service subcontracting, information matching, income settlement, tax planning, tax payment, social security payment and other convenient functions for individual gig workers, platform enterprises and regulatory authorities, which greatly improves the economic efficiency of the flexible employment field And governance level.

The huge potential of flexible employment spawns related services

  According to calculations by professional organizations in the industry, the domestic market for flexible employment in 2019 has reached 478.769 billion yuan, with an average annual compound growth rate of 45%.

Driven by the epidemic and policies, the demand for flexible employment continues to rise. It is estimated that the domestic flexible employment market will be about 725.82 billion yuan in 2020, and the flexible employment market penetration rate will be 8.24%.

  In the Blue Book of "China Flexible Employment Development Report (2021)", the proportion of flexible employment adopted by Chinese enterprises in 2020 will reach 55.68%.

It can be seen that the potential of flexible employment is huge, and its impact on domestic economic development is becoming increasingly prominent. In addition, flexible employment is more common in the sharing economy. Therefore, it is reasonable for the platform format serving this model to usher in explosive growth.

  At present, platforms with annual revenue of more than 10 billion yuan across the country, such as Ai Employee, Cloud Account, Salary, Boljie, Outstanding, Bangda, Yeyun, Bangmang, Renlian, etc., have accumulated more than 200 million Provide flexible employment services for sharing economy.

Among them, the industry's leading platform will have an income of more than 38 billion yuan in 2020, and tax payment of about 2.5 billion yuan, alleviating the employment pressure of 6,400 platform companies, and helping more than 10 million workers achieve employment out of poverty.

Under the normalization of epidemic prevention and control, the sharing economy service platform has played a key role in smoothing the domestic economic cycle under the new development pattern, promoting employment, protecting people's livelihood, reducing corporate burdens, and consolidating tax sources.

  At the same time, the platform service industry has intensified homogenization competition, temporary tax preferential policies are unsustainable, the state's strong supervision of the platform economy has appeared, and big data information security risks frequently occur and other practical problems have become a gig service platform. Practical problems that need to be solved urgently in the process of healthy development.

  For example, due to the positive impact of the free trade port policy, as of August 2020, Hainan Province has accumulatively more than 200 platform companies have been approved for tax entrusted tax collection qualifications.

However, in the follow-up special action to clean up and rectify entrusted collection by the Hainan Provincial Taxation Bureau, more than 60 flexible employment platform entrusted collection agreements were terminated, and the withdrawal rate was as high as 30%.

Reasons for rectification include: non-compliance of platform business risk control, platform business suspected of violations of laws and regulations, the company's initiative to apply for withdrawal, and the same shareholder has multiple qualifications for solicitation in Hainan Province, etc.

  Throughout the country, local tax authorities in more than ten provinces, including Tianjin, Hunan, Henan, Hainan, Shandong, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, Liaoning, Jiangxi, Anhui, Gansu, etc., have authorized over a thousand companies to carry out entrusted collection services.

Among them, some platform companies frequently touch the bottom line of supervision for their interests. Therefore, many places have suspended the issuance of entrusted entrustment qualification certificates, and have begun to clean up and rectify illegal platforms.

There are three main types of risks in the gig service platform

  Examining the characteristics and reasons of the frequent risks of gig service platforms, we found that it is not limited to the problem of tax collection and payment. The core is the contradiction between the emerging legal relationship that appeared in the early development of the new Internet business and the existing legal norms and their implementation. , Manifested as the severe challenge of industrial digitization or digital industrialization to the rule of law enforcement system and government governance capacity and level.

Further combining the main business of the sharing economy service platform such as intelligent tax filing, insurance payment, business subcontracting, license processing, identity verification, income settlement, etc., the main sources of risk can be sorted into three types of risks such as tax collection and management, labor protection, and data security. .

1. Tax collection and management risks.

  As the most important risk control point for gig service platforms, although the macro policy environment is relatively tolerant, in a strict sense, most service platforms currently have difficulty meeting compliance requirements.

The core of the problem is that the current taxation legal system has blocking points in the legislative text, the practice of taxation and management, and the relationship between the central and local governments, resulting in obvious differences in the local application of taxation law.

Tax competition among various regions has intensified the transfer of national platforms to "tax depressions". Coupled with the complex and diverse tax preferential system, it is difficult to completely eliminate regulatory arbitrage under the profit-seeking nature of service platform companies.

  For this reason, it is recommended that the differences in the distribution of financial power between the central and local governments be coordinated as soon as possible, supplement and refine the legal basis for the tax authority of the central and local governments, as well as the regulation of fiscal and tax transfer between local governments, and adhere to the central tax management policy in the implementation of local governments. Implement landing.

At the same time, formulate and implement scientific and reasonable related policies and regulations. Set up tax incentives for local governments in accordance with local conditions, balance regional fiscal revenues and expenditures in the form of transfer payments, and maintain the fairness of local tax competition.

2. Labor protection risks.

  With the rapid development of platform economy and technology, and with the support of the global new crown pneumonia epidemic, new formats and industries such as contactless economy have grown rapidly, and the number and demand of individual workers engaged in related industries have increased in proportion to the activation. At the same time as the labor market, it also raises the issue of labor rights protection and relief in many new labor scenarios.

  In practice, a large number of workers aggregated through the gig service platform have a cooperative relationship with the platform, rather than a labor or labor relationship. The two parties are similar to the market entities of "cooperative win-win, risk-bearing", which breaks the current situation to a certain extent. The labor law protects the rights and interests of unit employees, especially high-risk occupations such as riders, cleaning, and decoration. It will be difficult to directly identify employment responsibilities. The resulting labor disputes frequently occur, causing widespread concern from all walks of life.

  Therefore, for the gig sharing model, clarify the source of income, occupational scope, responsibility distribution, infringement relief and other labor elements of individual workers in different scenarios, identify the boundaries of rights and obligations between individual workers and the service platform, and determine the type and limit of platform liability , As a supplementary situation into the current labor law system.

  At the same time, for the gig service platform, it is necessary to differentiate the working environment and establish a cooperation agreement that meets the basic rights and interests of workers. Especially for high-risk occupations, the service platform should provide labor contracts to individual workers in principle, and only after prompting the relevant labor liability risks. The contract can be provided, and the final determination of the two is at the discretion of the actual job undertaker, and the gig service platform should fulfill its obligation to inform in advance.

3. Data security risks.

  In the process of docking C-end, B-end, and G-end, the gig service platform has risks of information leakage and illegal use of the personal privacy, trade secrets, and national security data collected, used, and managed.

In particular, gig service platforms usually have access to sensitive data that is difficult for ordinary platforms such as taxation and social security, and their data security protection obligations should be stricter.

  Therefore, the classification and hierarchical governance of sensitive data that may be involved in the service platform should focus on the effective protection of personal privacy, business secrets, national security and other data that exist in the process of data collection, analysis, development, and sharing. Classification and grading standards and circulation norms of commercial interest, national security, and social public interest data.

At the same time, for governance technology and compliance issues of handling personnel, government departments and platform companies must evaluate existing data processing techniques and the qualifications and capabilities of business personnel, and establish scientific, normative, and restrictive systems that meet actual operational needs Mechanisms and procedures, focusing on testing the infrastructure and control nodes of auxiliary tools such as blockchain, and complementing the blind spots of the enterprise's internal data management protocols.

  Of course, the rule of law to ensure the healthy development of gig service platforms is not limited to supervision and relief during and after the event. It is necessary to pay attention to pre-prevention and risk control, accelerate the construction of the social credit system, and establish a social credit evaluation mechanism, etc., which can also effectively relieve The lack of trust in unfamiliar groups, the high cost of credit investigation, and the difficulty of restoring untrustworthiness are the pain points and blockages in the development of service platforms.

  As a new business format, new industry, and new model, the gig service platform has played an active role in promoting the domestic economic cycle, releasing the business momentum of flexible employment models, and efficiently allocating labor resources and social public service resources. It should maintain a scientific and prudent regulatory attitude. , Support and standardize its healthy development.

(The author is a professor of Nankai University Law School and director of the Competition Law Research Center. This article is a phased result of the “Digital Economy and Competition Law Research” funded by the National Social Science Fund)

  Author: Bing