This project was a contribution to Eurofound’s research activities on ‘work and employment in the digital age’ as outlined in Eurofound’s programming document 2017– 2020. The overarching aim of the study was to contribute to a better understanding of platform work in Europe. Its objectives were to:
• provide a summary of the scale and scope of platform work in Europe
• explore the employment and working conditions of platform workers
• describe the public and policy debates around platform work in Member States
• review the regulatory frameworks applying to platform work
• examine the extent of collective representation among platform workers and the issues it presents
• derive policy pointers for improving the employment and working conditions of platform workers in Europe.
The project was originally divided into four tasks: regulatory frameworks of crowd employment in selected EU Member States (task A), categorisation and selection of specific types of crowd employment (task B), working and employment conditions and labour market effects of specific types of crowd employment (task C), analysis and reporting (task D).
The study identified 10 common types of platform work, which covered almost all platform workers in the EU. It explored three in detail (on-location platform-determined work, on-location worker-initiated work, online contest work), based on interviews with platform workers. The study examined the employment and working conditions of workers engaged in these three types of platform work. It also explored the regulatory frameworks that apply to platform work in 18 EU Member States. The methodology used for the elaboration of the typology was based on cross-tabulating characteristics of platform work identified in previous research with the JRC database on platforms in Europe. The study also relied on desk research and semi-structured interviews with platform workers.
The final report focused on employment status and access to social protection, autonomy and control, earnings and taxation, skills, training and prospects and representation. The project also led to the publication of six working papers on national context analysis in France, Germany, Austria, Poland, Sweden and Italy.