Policy Brief

09/07/2019

Highlights from research in 13 European countries

After 3 years of surveys carried in 13 European countries, it is clear that platform work is here to stay, and even growing at a rapid pace. It has become a way to gain additional income for many people across Europe, with particularly high levels in European countries where salaries are low.

At the same time, we see digital management practices we often associate with platform work, such as rating systems and the online logging of work hours, spreading to conventional forms of employment.

Hence, the ‘platform dynamic’ that involves precarious work, reduced worker autonomy, and flexibility for the employer, not the worker, is gaining prominence in European labour markets. In other words, we see the ‘platformisation of work’. Luckily, this is not an inevitable feature of platform technology. At the end, the authors stimulate thinking about platform applications that do not exploit workers and support public policy goals.

For the publication that contains the highlights of this 3-year research project on the size and nature of platform work in Europe, please, see here

Authors: Ursula Huws, Neil H. Spencer, and Matt Coates

For the full document, including all statistical appendixes, results from the qualitative interviews with platform workers, and additional figures on characteristics of those carrying out platform work, please, see here

Authors: Ursula Huws, Neil H. Spencer, Matt Coates and Kaire Holts

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