Employment terms of platform workers

Digital Programme: Algorithms at the workplace

Policy Study

18/01/2024

Data-driven analysis of online platforms in Denmark

The European Commission estimates that around 28 million people in the EU work through one or more digital labour platforms, known as the “gig economy”. There are serious concerns about the working conditions and social rights of people working in the “gig economy”, as many platforms claim that their role is not of traditional employers but as intermediaries between customers and self-employed service providers. This has led many platform companies to compensate workers through remuneration rather than a fixed salary. Some even require workers to establish their own companies to which the salary is then paid.

Administrative data shows an apparent rise in the number of renumerated workers within specific sectors in Denmark. Notably, the transport, information, and communication industries exhibit a significant surge, predominantly comprising young, non-Danish workers with limited educational backgrounds. As part of FEPS and its Nordic partner’s ‘Digital Programme: Algorithms at the workplace‘, this policy study seeks to contribute knowledge about platform companies and the terms of employment for workers engaged through them.

Employing quantitative data sources, this policy study underscores that, even within one of Europe’s most organised labour markets, platform companies are trying to circumvent labour and tax regulations by hiring platform workers through remuneration contracts. This knowledge is crucial for informing the policy discourse at both the European and Danish levels, contributing to the clarification of distinctions between employed and self-employed workers. All workers should be guaranteed basic employment terms, with guaranteed job security such as a labour contract, and the platform applying basic social security and tax regulations to platform workers.


This policy study is part of the Digital Research Programme

FEPS, Tankesmedjan Tiden, Kalevi Sorsa Saatio, Tankesmien Agenda, CEVEA, Arbejderbevægelsens Erhvervsråd (ECLM), Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Nordics and Cooperation Committee of the Nordic Labour Movement (SAMAK), with the support of Nordic trade Unions, came together for a Digital Research Programme to discuss the research questions, methods and approaches of the different research strands:

  1. Algorithmic management and governance (prevalence & consequences)
  2. Workers’ experience at the workplace – surveys and focus groups
  3. Online platforms and employment terms
Network
Cevea
Economic Council of the Labour Movement (ECLM)
Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung
Kalevi Sorsa Foundation
Samak
Tankesmedja Tiden
Tankesmien Agenda
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»Der er tale om en markant udvikling«: Det vrimler med Wolt-bude

by Politiken 19/01/2024
'"This is a significant development": Wolt workers are everywhere' Politiken's article about the Digital Programme's first policy study: 'Employment terms of platform workers'

A szociális unió imperatívusza

by Új Egyenlőség 09/09/2023
'The imperative of Social Union'. Article about FEPS book 'Europe’s Social Integration: Welfare Models and Economic Transformations' by László Andor.

AI, platforms and (human) workers’ rights

by Social Europe 07/07/2023
In Social Europe' article, Gerard Rinse Oosterwijk, FEPS Policy Analyst on Digital, talks about the efforts to regulate AI undertaken by the EU and highlights the importance to grasp this opportunity to set the rules for a human-centric approach

Rapid grocery worker conditions are worsening, states report

by The Grocer 30/05/2023
The findings of our FEPS study on the quick-commerce sector and the conditions of rider workers were picked up by the UK-website 'The Grocer’.