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Introducing the Deel Lab for Global Employment

Today we’re announcing the creation of a new research and policy arm of Deel, the Deel Lab for Global Employment. The lab will bring experts and data together to enhance the discussion around global employment policy.

Deel Team
Written by Deel Team
December 21, 2022

It’s no secret that the world of work has changed over the last decade, and even more in the last three years. Covid, yes, but other forces like the prevalence of enterprise messaging apps and project management tools have changed the way workers collaborate. They’ve allowed teams to run efficiently regardless of their physical location. This is especially true for tech workers, where most jobs simply require a laptop and internet connection. A new outlook on work has enabled companies to hire from a wider, global pool of talent and has given workers more international job opportunities.

At Deel, we embrace this new outlook. We help companies hire anyone, anywhere by simplifying worldwide compliance, onboarding, and payroll. In the past three years, Deel has onboarded hundreds of thousands employees and contractors from over 100 countries on behalf of 10,000 clients.

The technological infrastructure is there to support this new way of working, but what’s missing is the policy infrastructure to help meet the needs of today and tomorrow’s workforce.  

To illustrate this point: Deel offers its customers the ability to hire and pay a company’s workforce in other countries using Deel’s licensed entities. This model is called employer of record, EOR, and it’s pretty close to the PEO (professional employer organization) model in the US. However, unlike PEO, EOR does not afford co-employer status to Deel’s customers. As a result, EOR employees are denied certain benefits such as tax advantages on stock options and other specific benefits offered by the client company to their traditional employees, like complementary pension plans. Same is true for independent contractors (with the exception of legacy professions like doctors and lawyers): they’re denied benefits reserved for traditional employees, and they’re often not recognized by third parties like banks, so they can’t get access to home loans and other privileges.

Increased worker and company demands for flexibility meet major roadblocks when it comes to global employment policies. To date, the discussion has been mostly anecdotal and not guided by global data.

That’s where Deel’s data comes in. Because Deel has so many insights on the modern-day workforce, it’s in a unique position to help other institutions embrace this new workplace paradigm. Using Deel’s data plus machine learning, the Lab can understand the populations in need of a new employment paradigm and start assessing how to better support them. It aims to develop AI-powered compliance technologies and contribute to the policy discourse on rights for global workers, including EOR employees and independent contractors. It will be exploring ways to expand the reach of benefits reserved for traditional employees – benefits like healthcare, workplace insurance, compensation, and taxation.

More specifically, the lab will take on two key efforts:

  • AI-powered compliance technology: Develop AI-powered algorithms to identify the misclassification of workers in multiple jurisdictions, starting in Canada, the US, the UK, France, the Philippines, India, and Nigeria. These algorithmic models will integrate local labor laws and jurisprudence to help companies better assess their standing amidst current global labor regulation.
  • Data-driven policy guidance: Analyze Deel’s and other organizations’ datasets, both to determine what different workforce populations need a new employment paradigm, and to make policy recommendations. For instance, the topic of giving contractors more benefits traditionally reserved for employees – like sick days, paid time off, and incentive stock options - warrants more academic analysis, with data that supports specific policy recommendations.

The Deel Lab for Global Employment will connect a wide network of experts from academia and industry to contribute their insights and expertise. We’ve appointed Samuel Dahan, former EU official and professor of law at Queen’s University and Cornell University, to chair the initiative. The Deel Lab for Global Employment is being run in collaboration with the Conflict Analytics Lab, a joint initiative between both the Faculty of Law and Smith School of Business at Queen’s University. Prof. Dahan is in the process of recruiting organizations to contribute to the lab’s effort. So far, the team includes Prof. Duncan Fairgrieve (Kings’ Counsel, Paris Dauphine); Laura Becking (Partner, Global Employment, Orrick); Prof. Anton Ovchinnikov (Queen’s Smith - INSEAD); Aymeric de Moncuit (EU Regulation Partner, Mayer Brown); Prof. David Restrepo Amariles (Professor, HEC Paris); Samuel Solomon and Jingyi Cui (PhD Candidates, Yale University) and Dean Alejandro Chetman (Dean, Torcuato Di Tella University in Buenos Aires).

The Deel Lab for Global Employment aims to use technology and data to contribute meaningfully to the policy conversation around rights for global workers. To learn more or to inquire about joining the lab, visit here

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