CEPS project explore employment and working conditions under crowd employment

Over the past two years, the platform economy has rapidly gained ground in the EU, giving rise to new forms of employment and making its mark on the sectors in which these platforms are concentrated. Crowd employment, which involves paid work intermediated through such an online platform, comes with benefits but it also bears certain risks for the workers involved. To date, however, little is known about its effects on workers and the labour market.

Against this background, CEPS is currently engaged in a research project on the employment and working conditions of different types of crowd employment, funded by Eurofound and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Consumer Protection. Within this project, the aim is to present a systematic analysis of crowd employment, combining desk research with stakeholder and worker interviews.

The project’s first task is to map the (regulatory) framework of crowd employment in six EU countries: Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Poland and Sweden. To this end, we are investigating applicable regulations, the employment status, organisation and representation of workers, and the formal relationships between platforms, clients and workers. In the second task, we are developing a crowd employment typology, accounting for the heterogeneity in crowd employment types. This typology will form the basis for the project’s third task, which examines the working and employment conditions of three to five selected types, focusing on salient issues, such as working time or access to social protection. The project also has a comparative angle, comparing and contrasting the results for each of the six countries and the different types of crowd employment found.

The project was launched in August 2017 and will end in July 2018. In implementing this project, CEPS is collaborating with Eftheia, a Brussels-based consultancy specialised in European social affairs, management, communication and ICT, and Valerio De Stefano, BOF-ZAP Research Professor at the Institute for Labour Law and the Faculty of Law of the University of Leuven, and his team.