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Deel Launches Research and Policy Arm – the Deel Lab for Global Employment – to address gaps in modern workforce policy infrastructure


 Deel, the leading global hiring, payroll and compliance unicorn, has today announced the creation of a new research and policy arm, the Deel Lab for Global Employment. The lab will bring experts and data together to enhance the discussion and formulate new policies around the topic of global employment.

 The needs of today and tomorrow’s workforce

 The Deel Lab for Global Employment is a response to the world of work evolving dramatically, with hybrid working arrangements, virtual collaboration and distributed workforces now commonplace.The technological infrastructure to support this new way of working exists – Deel, for example, enables companies to hire from a wider, global pool of talent, and gives workers more international job opportunities. However, there are huge gaps in the policy infrastructure needed to meet the needs of today and tomorrow’s workforce. The Deel Lab for Global Employment aims to use technology and data to contribute meaningfully to the policy conversation around rights for global workers.

 Supporting the rights of global employees

 One example of a gap in existing policy infrastructure is around company benefits, such as tax advantages on stock options and complementary pension plans, which are currently too often reserved for “traditional employees”. Deel customers can onboard and pay employees in other countries through the employer of record (EOR) model, similar to the PEO (professional employer organisation) model in the US. However, unlike PEO, EOR does not afford co-employer status to Deel’s customers. EOR employees and other “non-traditional” employees like contractors are classified differently, excluding them from these privileges. Furthermore, they’re often not recognised by third parties like banks, so they can’t access home loans and other benefits. 


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 The Deel Lab for Global Employment will connect a wide network of experts from academia and industry to contribute their insights and expertise. Because Deel has so many insights on the modern-day workforce – it’s onboarded hundreds of thousands employees and contractors from over 100 countries – it’s in a unique position to help other institutions embrace this new workplace paradigm. The lab aims to develop AI-powered compliance technologies and contribute to the policy discourse on rights for global workers, including EOR employees and independent contractors. 

 Samuel Dahan, former EU official and professor of law at Queens University and Cornell University, has been appointed to chair the initiative. So far the team includes experts such as Prof. Jeremias Prassle (Oxford); Prof. Duncan Fairgrieve (Kings’ Counsel, Paris Dauphine); Laura Becking (Partner, Global Employment, Orrick) and more.

 Commenting on the launch, Professor Dahan said: “Insufficient global employment policies currently act as a major roadblock to increased demands for flexibility, from both companies and workers. So far, the discussion has been mostly anecdotal and not guided by global data. Combining Deel’s insights with other employment data and machine learning, the lab can present a new employment paradigm. Deel’s lab will explore ways to expand the reach of benefits reserved for traditional employees, like healthcare, workplace insurance, compensation, and taxation, to better reflect the needs of the modern workforce.”

 AI-powered and data-driven

 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: Analyse Deel’s and other organisations’ 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.


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