Platform economy initiatives

06 November 2020

This section of Eurofound’s web repository on the platform economy aims to provide an overview of the various initiatives that exist or that have been implemented in relation to activities in the platform economy. As the platform economy itself is very heterogeneous, so are these initiatives. Therefore, Eurofound takes a broad understanding of ‘initiative’, which can be approximated as any organised attempt to:

  • manage platform economy based activities in order to ensure compliance with rules and regulations (for example, in August 2018, the city of Vienna announced a cooperation with an accommodation platform to ensure tax compliance of its users);
  • any non-institutionalised attempt to provide ancillary support services for platform workers, platform companies or clients (for example, workers providing each other trouble shooting assistance on a forum);
  • any proposed or undertaken action with the aim of representing actors in the platform economy in the public or political sphere (for example, Deliveroo bike couriers forming a ‘Riders Union’).

The overview organises initiatives by their function. As some initiatives have more than one function, they can occur under several headings.

This overview presents a list of initiatives known to Eurofound and does not by any means claim to be exhaustive. Furthermore, the following does not constitute any assessment of initiatives either by including them or absenting them from the list. The descriptions of the initiatives use the terms denoted by the initiatives themselves to describe their area of operation, for example ‘sharing economy’, the ‘collaborative economy’, the ‘platform economy’ or otherwise.

Types

Type: Advice and exchange

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

Sindacato-Networkers

NEW

 

Sindacato-Networkers is one of the first trade union platforms targeting ICT professionals and employees in the services sector and platform workers. Sindacato-Networkers offers a series of services including individual online advice on work-related problems, such as the help with fiscal matters. On the website, there is a separate section on the platform economy specially designed for riders. It offers legal assistance and assistance related to tax obligations, and above all trade union representation vis-à-vis the different platforms. Another section on labour rights includes a forum offering free counselling. In 2017, Sindacato-Networkers launched a permanent observatory. Through a detailed survey addressed at workers in the platform economy, the observatory collects data and information on platform work in Italy and drafts regular reports. During the COVID-19 crisis, Sindacato-Networkers supported riders through dedicated information and by denouncing situations where they were put at risk.

Employee organisation

Italy

FGTB - ABVV Platform

NEW

 

The initiative was launched to help the General Labour Federation of Belgium ( Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique in French, FGTB; Algemeen Belgisch Vakverbond in Dutch, ABVV) better reach platform workers, inform them about their rights and duties and offer support, all in a completely online environment. The initiative consists of a website where platform workers can find information on their rights, get in touch and share experiences with each other, and contact the trade union for legal advice. The links to FGTB’s French and Dutch dedicated Facebook pages are provided as well, which allow platform workers to see relevant articles shared there by FGTB and get in touch with FGTB through the social network’s chat. Through this initiative, FGTB aims at organising and protecting platform workers, as well as increasing their visibility and getting to know their profile and needs, finding out what they expect from a trade union, and creating a platform workers’ network. FGTB has answered to hundreds of questions through the website and Facebook, since the launch of the initiative in January 2020.

Employee organisation

Belgium

Pinploy

NEW

Pinploy, which mediates handyman services, provides workers with educational documentation related to performance of tasks and guidelines on conduct (improvement of relationship with clients for example). A chatbot as well as live support assists workers in navigating the platform and in performing tasks. The platform also facilitates exchange among workers on ‘what works and what does not’ as regards their platform work. Platform Denmark

Crowd Workers (browser extension)

The free Crowd Workers browser tool aims to provide Amazon Mechanical Turk workers with enough information to make educated decisions on which tasks to accept. The extension is downloaded and runs in the Chrome browser, tracking workers’ activity on the platform. It logs the time when workers start and finish a task and how much they were paid. The extension aggregates data from all users and computes hourly rates for tasks. The extension:

  • Recommends tasks;
  • Provides information on the requesters’ rejection percentage;
  • Enables workers to keep a list of requesters they want to work with again, and those they want to avoid;
  • Enables workers to set goals and alerts.

Research institute

United States

MTurk Crowd

MTurk Crowd has a daily thread where workers and clients can share information and tasks and provides how-to guides for new or aspiring workers.

Workers share, for example, links to lucrative tasks with high approval ratings (that is, a high likelihood to have the finalised task approved for payment by the requester) and high monetary rewards, while clients discuss the correct design and implementation of tasks to the platform.

Further reading: Trust in crowd worker forums 

Worker, Research institute

Other

MTurk forum

Online webpage for workers and requesters on Amazon Mechanical Turk. For workers, the forum has areas for discussions on topics such as personal financial goals, statistics on HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks), rating requesters, and sharing links and information for well-paying HITs. For requesters, the forum has an area where they can post HITs and recruit workers.

Worker, Client

Other

Mturkgrind

Mturkgrind is a forum for Amazon Mechanical Turk workers and requesters. The main areas are threads related to advice for a variety of issues (such as resolving issues verifying the account, seeking advice on whether glitches that delete work done on HITs are due to browser issues or an system-wide failure that should be reported, etc.), providing feedback on the workings of the platform. It also contains an area where requesters can recruit workers, and areas for general social conversation and discussion of other platforms.

Worker, Client

United States, Other

Reddit r/mturk

and

r/HITsWorthTurkingFor

Reddit has two ‘subreddits’ on which Amazon Mechanical Turk workers share links, posts and information. r/mturk is dedicated to advice, troubleshooting and social conversation. r/HITsWorthTurkingFor, is used by workers to direct each other to well-paying HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks).

Worker

Other

Riders’ municipal information counter

On 18 July 2018, the municipal administration of Milan inaugurated the first office in Italy dedicated to ‘listening, information and advice’ for workers of food delivery platforms. The office will also offer free training courses on road safety, safety at work and basic sanitary rules for food transport.

Government

Italy

Turkernation

Turker Nation is a general forum where (mainly US-based) Amazon Mechanical Turk workers discuss issues related to aspects of work on the platform, such as problems they encounter, suggestions, scripts, tools and advice. When new members join the forum, they have limited access, but with increasing activity and contribution to the community in terms of providing advice and sharing scripts, they can increase their access rights. One area of the forum is the ‘Requesters’ hall of fame/shame ratings,’ where workers note and discuss behaviour, communication, and perceived fairness they experienced in their dealing with a particular requester. There are also areas where workers and requesters may interact directly, for example resolving conflicts or discussing optimal task (HITs) design.

Worker, Client

United States

GPA-DJP

GPA-DJP, the Austrian union of private sector employees, printing, journalism, and paper, has decided to open its membership to platform workers as of January 2019. Among other things, the membership which costs €10 a month grants access to legal protection and advisory services by the trade union. GPA-DJP explains this step by the fact that Austrian labour and social law does not sufficiently answer issues of platform work, as platforms see themselves as a mediator rather than an employer. The union seeks to connect platform workers, spark a debate about working conditions in the platform economy, and gain information on the design and spread of this form of work.

Employee organisation

Austria

TurkerView

TurkerView is a platform for Amazon Mechanical Turk workers that collects data from participating members to give insights into wages, appropriateness of rewards, how well a workflow is communicated, and how fast completed tasks are approved for payment. It therefore reduces the information asymmetry between workers and clients and helps workers to make an informed decision on which tasks they should take on. The platform also offers a discussion forum for workers and a wiki.

Other

United States,

other

gigworker.com

Gigworker is a network for platform workers across different types of platform work. It categorises platforms into different industries and task types, supporting workers in finding the right platform for their skills. It also offers a discussion forum with sections for all kinds of platforms and is planning to launch a jobs portal that will allow workers to find jobs in the platform economy.

Other

Other

European Agenda for the collaborative economy

Since 2016, the European Commission is organising different events, workshops and research efforts under the umbrella of the ‘European Agenda for the collaborative economy’. The aim is to support consumers, businesses and public authorities to engage confidently in the collaborative economy. In April 2018, the European Commission carried out a flash survey to identify citizens' perceptions, attitudes and practices in relation to the collaborative economy (further information here).

Government

EU28

Type: Arbitration

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

Ombuds Office

In cooperation with the German metalworkers’ union (IG Metall), several platforms and the German Crowdsourcing Association have established a joint Ombuds Office. This is intended to address complaints and resolve disputes between workers, clients and platforms (applicable only to those which have signed the Crowdsourcing Code of Conduct). Issues may be logged through an online form in German or English and are considered eligible when:

  • The platform in question has signed the Code of Conduct;
  • The complaint is concrete, for example when it concerns payment or procedures on the platform;
  • The issue has already been raised with the platform but has not been (satisfactorily) resolved.

Employee organisation, Platform

Germany

EU transparency obligations for online platforms

The EU is introducing new rules which will provide businesses with a more transparent, fair and predictable online business environment, as well as an efficient system for seeking redress. The regulation adopted by the Council addresses relations between online platforms and businesses. The main aim of the regulation is to establish a legal framework that guarantees transparent terms and conditions for business users of online platforms, as well as effective possibilities for redress when these terms and conditions are not respected.

Further reading: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services

Government

EU28

Type: Awareness raising, campaigns, information provision

 

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

Sindacato-Networkers

NEW

 

Sindacato-Networkers is one of the first trade union platforms targeting ICT professionals and employees in the services sector and platform workers. Sindacato-Networkers offers a series of services including individual online advice on work-related problems, such as the help with fiscal matters. On the website, there is a separate section on the platform economy specially designed for riders. It offers legal assistance and assistance related to tax obligations, and above all trade union representation vis-à-vis the different platforms. Another section on labour rights includes a forum offering free counselling. In 2017, Sindacato-Networkers launched a permanent observatory. Through a detailed survey addressed at workers in the platform economy, the observatory collects data and information on platform work in Italy and drafts regular reports. During the COVID-19 crisis, Sindacato-Networkers supported riders through dedicated information and by denouncing situations where they were put at risk.

Employee organisation

Italy

CoopCycle

NEW

 

CoopCycle is the European federation of bicycle delivery cooperatives. Democratically governed by cooperatives, it is based on solidarity between them and allows them to reduce their costs through resources pooling. It creates a collective bargaining force to protect bikers’ rights.

The CoopCyle web platform and software enables bike couriers, customers and restaurants to manage their own activities. Couriers can view their statistics and access the app, restaurants can manage one or more restaurants, and customers can place orders. The software is protected by a reciprocity license, which enforces its use by cooperatives only.

They also have the CoopCycle association, which is a group of volunteers that help bikers to gather and organise. The topics they are working on include:

· the creation of an anti-capitalist economic model based on the Commons

· the development of the CoopCycle software (UI/UX, dev, trainings, docs, aso.)

· political lobbying, juridical toolbox, global coordination.

Business association; Platform

France

Sharing Economy Committee

NEW

In 2016, the Norwegian government appointed the Sharing Economy Committee. Since then, the Committee suggested several measures to ensure and simplify taxation of platform work and an online portal on rights and duties for platforms, workers and clients. Government Norway

Declaration of Sharing Cities

In 2018, nearly 50 cities across the world signed a declaration introducing a set of principles in relation to the platform economy. The principles are aimed at local administration and include the differentiation between different platform models (collaborative models that benefit the city as a whole vs non-collaborative models), labour (possibility for workers to increase income through platform work without administrative burdens, platforms to ensure timely compensation), inclusion (prevention of discrimination), public protection (health, safety and security, ensured by institutional mechanisms), environmental sustainability, data sovereignty (protection of citizens’ digital rights), city sovereignty (guarantee respect for the legal jurisdictions of cities given the potential disruption from the digital platforms), economic promotion (promote the development of local collaborative economic ecosystems and particularly small and medium enterprises), and general interest of the involved communities. Many cities from Europe, the United States, Canada, and Taiwan signed the declaration. Government,  Other EU28, United States, Canada

Liefern am Limit

Liefern am Limit is an initiative that represents platform workers in the food delivery industry. It was founded in early 2018 and is the first works council that Deliveroo workers had created in Cologne, Germany. Interest in the initiative was great and many Deliveroo workers, but also workers from other platforms such as Foodora, used it to make the public aware of their concerns and working conditions. At the same time, the contact with the German Food, Beverages and Catering Union (Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten, NGG) was deepened. Since November 2018, Liefern am Limit is an official partner of NGG to address working conditions in the food delivery industry.The organisation also supports other platform workers in the food delivery industry in Germany and organises regular networking and information events. With the support of Liefern am Limit, works councils of Foodora were established in Cologne, Hamburg (together with Kiel and Bremen), Frankfurt (together with Offenbach), Nuremberg and Stuttgart. The aim is to establish further committees and thus make the concerns of the employees heard by platforms and society. Liefern am Limit also functions as mouthpiece of food delivery workers to the public, to NGOs, into the existing trade union structures of the NGG, and into politics. Concerns of the workforce were for example raised to the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

Employee organisation; Worker Germany

Dataset worker resistance

This dataset collected information on informal and formal strikes and protest activities by platform workers from July 2016 until December 2017, and involves 41 incidents across seven countries and more than 1,400 workers. The data collection method involves food delivery riders reporting on activities in their respective locality. Additionally, French riders have mapped these 41 incidents.

Further reading: Worker resistance in European food platforms

Worker, Research institute

Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom

Deutscher Crowdsourcing Verband (DCV) (German Crowdsourcing Association)

The German Crowdsourcing Association (DCV) provides information to its members, which may be individual persons, companies and/or organisations and functions as an advocacy group on their behalf. The DCV’s webpage mentions specifically that it represents the interests of its members and the entire German crowdsourcing industry, in particular in current regulatory initiatives.

Affiliated with the DCV is the German Crowdfunding Network, which provides support to consultants, platform operators, start-ups, scientists and capital providers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Business association

Germany

iLabour – Online Labour Strife (Oxford Internet Institute, Oxford, UK)

Since 2016, the Online Labour Index has measured the supply and demand of online labour across the world by tracking the number of projects and tasks across five of the largest English-language platforms (about 70% of the market by traffic) in real time. Since 2017, the iLabour project also records, analyses and visualises worker voice and collective action online, by tracking the geographical location from which dissatisfaction is expressed on the forums of the platforms. The data and visualisations are available under an open access licence. The iLabour project is funded by the European Research Council from September 2015 until August 2020.

Further reading:

Research institute, Government

United Kingdom

Instituto Nacional de Seguridad, Salud y Bienesar en el Trabajo (INSSBT, National Institute for Safety, Health and Wellbeing at Work, Spain)

The National Institute for Safety, Health and Wellbeing at Work organised a campaign to improve road safety for motor and bike food couriers in Spain as the incidence of accidents is much higher in this group than in other sectors. The campaign was called ‘Make yourself visible!’ and focused on raising awareness among couriers by sending out collaborators with direct access to the workers, who had a good understanding of the work process and workers’ personal and professional profiles, and who spoke the workers’ language.

Government

Spain

Italian trade union support for platform workers

The Italian Workers’ Union in the Tourism, Trade and Service Sectors (Unione Italiana Lavoratori Turismo Commercio e Servizi, UILTuCS) and the Italian Workers’ Federation for Trade, Hotel, Canteen and Service Sectors (

Federazione Italiana Lavoratori Commercio, Albergo, Mensa e Servizi, Filcams) are promoting initiatives aimed at raising awareness about working conditions in platform work. They also actively take part in negotiations for platform workers, as was for example the case in late 2018 when food delivery companies Foodora and Glovo merged and the future of their delivery workers was unclear.

Employee organisation

Italy

L’Observatoire de l’Uberisation (Observatory of ‘uberisation’)

Founded by the Federation of auto-entrepreneurs (a sub-group of self-employed) and the association ‘Support the growth’, the observatory gathers among others, self-employed workers, platforms, researchers, members of parliament, a former minister and experts in digital activities. The purpose of this association is to understand the ‘Uberisation’ phenomenon, to anticipate changes and to make concrete proposals in regards to taxation, labour regulations and social security.

Other

France

Sharers & Workers

Sharers & Workers aims to stimulate knowledge generation and information dissemination on the collaborative economy. It does this through working together with trade union-affiliated research organisations and actors in the collaborative economy, such as platform-based businesses. Amongst others, it holds joint working sessions that bring together national and international stakeholders and ‘animates’ working groups through online tools.

Research institute, Other

France

Sharing Cities Alliance

SharingCitiesAlliance is a network of cities, represented by mayors, deputy mayors and city officials from across the world, to discuss how the development of the sharing economy impacts the life and development of their respective cities. The alliance provides its members with access to online seminars, produces a magazine, provides advice and offers access to a ‘knowledge database’ called ALEX (Alliance Lexicon). This database contains research, reports, case studies, policies, regulations and market developments which is crowdsourced by members and curated by the alliance team.

Other

Other

Sharing Economy Ireland

Sharing Economy Ireland is an association of local and international ‘technology-enabled’ member organisations operational in Ireland. The association formed in November 2016 with the aim to represent and act as a collective voice for the industry. Among its objectives, the association lists:

  • Create awareness around Ireland’s sharing economy eco-system;
  • Establish standards for responsible sharing practices;
  • Respond to the shared challenges of our members.

In 2017, Sharing Economy Ireland organised several public events and met with Irish politicians. Later, on 12 July 2017, the association attended a public hearing in Brussels organised by the European Parliament DG EMPL on ‘The impact of business models, including the platform economy, on employment and social security in the EU’.

Business association

Ireland

SharingEspaña (SHES)

SharingEspaña (SHES) is a collective of companies operating in the platform economy in Spain which aims to act ‘in defence of the development and reputation of the collaborative economy and the protection of its users’. The collective has drafted and published a set of 13 principles, including the striving to reinforce the image of citizens as producers and micro entrepreneurs and to promote its business models at local, regional and national levels. SHESH also organises thematic breakfasts for the mobility, tourism, services, education and financing sectors, bringing together private and public sector representatives to discuss challenges in the context of the collaborative economy.

Business association

Spain

Travail Gratuit (Free Labour)

In 2014 in France, creative professionals called on the government to regulate crowd employment in an online petition called ‘Free Labour’ (Travail Gratuit). The petition addressed the lack of protection for creative workers when commissions go unpaid or when work is reused without permission; the (unfair) competition that platform-based work presents for the traditional sector and calls on the government to regulate and limit the opportunities for exploitative unpaid labour.

Worker, Government

France

Crowdworking Monitor

The Crowdworking Monitor is a research project with the purpose of investigating size, socio-demographics and characteristics of the platform economy in Germany. In its first published report it makes use of data gathered amongst 375,000 participants via an online survey tool, giving insights into crowd worker’s tasks, working hours, remuneration, and job satisfaction. The goal of this online survey is to contribute to the improvement of the thus far limited data on crowd working in Germany.

Research institute

Germany

The Internet Of Ownership – Directory

The directory lists platforms that share ownership and governance, as well as those that support such platforms. The directory distinguishes between ‘platform co-ops’, where cooperatives manage an online platform and ‘co-op run platforms’, which are cooperatives that manage and primarily do business through an online platform. Further categories include ‘shared platforms’, where enterprises share some meaningful ownership or governance over an online platform, and ‘supporters’, which are projects that lend support to the platform cooperatives ecosystem.

Other

EU28, other

TurkerView

TurkerView is a platform for Amazon Mechanical Turk workers that collects data from participating members to give insights into wages, appropriateness of rewards, how well a workflow is communicated, and how fast completed tasks are approved for payment. It therefore reduces the information asymmetry between workers and clients and helps workers to make an informed decision on which tasks they should take on. The platform also offers a discussion forum for workers and a wiki.

Other

United States,

other

gigworker.com

Gigworker is a network for platform workers across different types of platform work. It categorises platforms into different industries and task types, supporting workers in finding the right platform for their skills. It also offers a discussion forum with sections for all kinds of platforms and is planning to launch a jobs portal that will allow workers to find jobs in the platform economy.

Other

Other

Justice4Couriers

Justice4Couriers is a campaign by Finish delivery platform workers to improve the working conditions of couriers and drivers. The campaign demands repeal to pay cuts, transparent shift allocations, break spaces for couriers and drivers, equipment compensations and insurances against illness and accidents, and the possibility of an employment contract. The main targets of the campaign are Foodora and Wolt.

Workers

Finland

European Agenda for the collaborative economy

Since 2016, the European Commission is organising different events, workshops and research efforts under the umbrella of the ‘European Agenda for the collaborative economy’. The aim is to support consumers, businesses and public authorities to engage confidently in the collaborative economy. In April 2018, the European Commission carried out a flash survey to identify citizens' perceptions, attitudes and practices in relation to the collaborative economy (further information here).

Government

EU28

WageIndicator Foundation on Platform Economy

The WageIndicator Foundation, an organisation that collects and compares information on wages, labour law and career information, has created a section dedicated to the platform economy, giving information on working conditions, regulation and innovations that protect workers’ rights.

Other

EU28

Type: Code of conduct, standards

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

Syndicom and Mila Code of Conduct

NEW

Syndicom , the Swiss trade union for media and communication sectors, and Mila, a platform providing repair and tech services, signed a code of conduct in February 2019. It is the first such code in Switzerland. The code of conduct includes eight principles aimed at creating trust and fairness in relations between the platform and the workers.

These principles are: legality of projects; clarification of the legal position; motivating and good work; respectful dealings with others (which includes the right to collective representation and bargaining); clear definition of tasks and reasonable scheduling; freedom and flexibility; constructive feedback and open communication; data protection and privacy.

Employee organisation; Platform

Switzerland

Declaration of Sharing Cities

In 2018, nearly 50 cities across the world signed a declaration introducing a set of principles in relation to the platform economy. The principles are aimed at local administration and include the differentiation between different platform models (collaborative models that benefit the city as a whole vs non-collaborative models), labour (possibility for workers to increase income through platform work without administrative burdens, platforms to ensure timely compensation), inclusion (prevention of discrimination), public protection (health, safety and security, ensured by institutional mechanisms), environmental sustainability, data sovereignty (protection of citizens’ digital rights), city sovereignty (guarantee respect for the legal jurisdictions of cities given the potential disruption from the digital platforms), economic promotion (promote the development of local collaborative economic ecosystems and particularly small and medium enterprises), and general interest of the involved communities. Many cities from Europe, the United States, Canada, and Taiwan signed the declaration. Government, Other EU28, United States, Canada

Code of Good Practice (Sharing España)

Sharing España, a collective of companies in the platform economy, has prepared a document that includes 13 principles and good practices that commit to comply with the more than 30 platforms that make up the association. These include principles in promoting the platform economy, guidelines on honesty, integrity and trust, safety issues, guidelines an cooperation with public authorities, and compliance issues. The objective of the initiative is to act 'in defence of the development and reputation of the platform economy and the protection of its users’. Business association Spain

Manifest for intelligent, innovative and quality work

The document drafted by Adigital, an association representing the country’s leading  work platforms summarises their views about the employment forms they manage. They also express their desire to collaborate with the government in dealing with the problems generated by the platform economy. Business association, Platform Spain

Crowdsourcing Code of Conduct

In 2017, several German-based platforms undersigned a Code of Conduct for crowdsourcing and crowdworking, which is supported by the Deutscher Crowdsourcing Verband (DCV) (German Crowdsourcing Association). The Code of Conduct lists 10 responsibilities of platforms aimed at improving working conditions and fair treatment. The list includes:

  • The responsibility of the platform to provide projects that conform to the law;
  • inform workers of legal regulations and tax regulation;
  • provide fair payment;
  • provide motivating and fulfilling work;
  • foster respectful relations between the platform, client and worker;
  • provide (or help the client to provide) clear task instructions to workers;
  • provide assistance to workers (technical and otherwise);
  • ensure transparent task approval processes;
  • guarantee workers’ right to refuse tasks without negatively affecting their ability to contract new work, and;
  • protect the privacy of workers.

Business association

Germany; United Kingdom

Fairwork Foundation

The Fairwork Foundation is a project that is working to set and measure standards in the platform economy. The foundation collaborates with workers, trade unions, platforms, and policymakers to develop core principles of fair work and undertakes research to evaluate whether platforms meet those standards. Additionally, the foundation aims to create a certification scheme, reduce the information asymmetry between workers, firms and consumers, and improve the working conditions of people employed in the platform economy. Additionally, the foundation has created a certification scheme for platforms in India and South Africa, assigning scores in the areas of pay, conditions, contracts, management and representation to platforms. As a result, each platform is given a score out of a maximum of 10 points. 
The foundation also aims to reduce the information asymmetry between workers, firms and consumers, and improve the working conditions of people employed in the platform economy.
Research institute EU28, other

Sharing Economy UK (SEUK)

Sharing Economy UK represents platforms and businesses operating in the platform economy in the UK. When members join, they sign up to a code of conduct which sets standards for staff training, safety procedures and procedures for handling complaints. Since 2016, Sharing Economy UK awards a 'Trustseal'  to businesses meeting six performance criteria.

Business association

United Kingdom

Sharing economy UK Trustseal

Sharing Economy UK, which promotes the business interests of businesses operating in the platform economy in the UK, has developed ‘Trustseal’, in collaboration with the Oxford University SAID business school. The Trustseal is granted to businesses meeting six performance criteria, which include:

  • Identity and credential verification;
  • Transparent communications and pricing;
  • Providing help and support;
  • Security and data protection
  • Insurance and guarantees;
  • Peer reviews.

Business association, Research Institute

United Kingdom

Type: COVID-19

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB)

NEW

 

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) represents mainly low paid migrant workers, such as outsourced cleaners and security guards, and platform workers. IWGB was founded in 2012, and its branches undertake campaigns for better pay and working conditions. IWGB has taken to court several platform operators on a range of employment matters.

On 23 March 2020, IWGB announced that the union would sue the government to denounce that statutory sick pay arrangements in the light of COVID-19 discriminate against workers from ethnic minorities, women and platform workers. The union pleas that the government’s 80% wage subsidies for employees further discriminate against platform workers. On the same day, the union launched a £20,000 (€22,261) crowd-funder to protect itself from potential legal costs.

On 21 October 2020, IWGB attended the High Court to bring a judicial review that could extend health and safety rights to all ‘workers’, including workers in the platform economy. Many of these workers, including Uber drivers and parcel couriers, were designated ‘key workers’ by the government during the first wave of COVID-19. Victory for the union would win them all a legal right to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to take legal action against employers who dismiss them for refusing work in dangerous conditions.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

United Kingdom

Sindacato-Networkers

NEW

 

Sindacato-Networkers is one of the first trade union platforms targeting ICT professionals and employees in the services sector and platform workers. Sindacato-Networkers offers a series of services including individual online advice on work-related problems, such as the help with fiscal matters. On the website, there is a separate section on the platform economy specially designed for riders. It offers legal assistance and assistance related to tax obligations, and above all trade union representation vis-à-vis the different platforms. Another section on labour rights includes a forum offering free counselling. In 2017, Sindacato-Networkers launched a permanent observatory. Through a detailed survey addressed at workers in the platform economy, the observatory collects data and information on platform work in Italy and drafts regular reports. During the COVID-19 crisis, Sindacato-Networkers supported riders through dedicated information and by denouncing situations where they were put at risk.

Employee organisation

Italy

NIdiL and CGIL

NEW

 

Italian General Confederation of Labour (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, CGIL) launched its New job identities (Nuove Identità di Lavoro, NIdiL) section in 1998 to ensure representation and protection for atypical workers. Workers of the platform economy, including riders, are also members of NIdiL CGIL. The organisation is articulated on both national and territorial level.

During the COVID-19 crisis, NIdiL launched several campaigns in protection of platform workers. For example, in Piedmont, it supported a strike by Amazon workers who denounced the inacceptable working conditions imposed by the company during the emergency. At national level, NIdiL launched the #dimenticatidaconte action, denouncing the fact that measures taken by the Italian government were largely inadequate for riders. It also promoted a court case against Just Eat which led to the recognition of the right to safety and health for platform workers and which established the applicability of the employment relationship regulation to them. NIdiL CGIL has also been engaged in getting closer to self-organised movements of riders and the union has kept a forward-looking cooperation with the other two most representative Italian trade union confederations in putting forward a proposal for the better protection of this category of workers towards the Italian government.

Employee organisation

Italy

CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon

NEW

 

The CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon was formed in spring 2019 from the CGT Committee of Precarious Workers, with the aim of federating the workers of the delivery platforms and collectively establishing their claims. The section aims to defend the rights of platform workers and to reach new ones. Numerous mobilisations have been organised since 2019, including several strikes against the drop in pay in March 2020, as well as a whole campaign of calls for stopping work and demanding compensation for delivery workers during the COVID-19. The section works in conjunction with other CGT organisations, including the numerous delivery workers’ unions.

In October 2020, the constitutive congress of the CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon union was held, in the presence of representatives of the National Federation of CGT Transport Unions and of the CGT Transport Federation.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

France

Workers Fund

NEW

The Workers Fund collects donations to be distributed to platform workers who have lost their income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is run by the Workers Lab, a US-based NGO. Other United States

COVID-19 support for Uber drivers and delivery people 

NEW

Uber has launched several initiatives to support drivers and delivery people. Amongst others, the platform highlights the provision of face masks, cleaning supplies and hand sanitisers, 14 days of financial assistance to those diagnosed with the virus, a ‘Work Hub’ helping workers to find other work and online guidance to governmental support. Platform United States

Platforms providing free housing to healthcare professionals

Airbnb is helping to connect medical professionals on the frontline with hosts offering free places to stay during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is done on a voluntary basis, that is, hosts are not paid by Airbnb for providing the service. Hosts also must comply with safety and cleanliness protocols. The company’s own set goal is to house 100,000 healthcare professionals, relief workers, and first responders around the world.

Platform

United Kingdom, United States, EU28

Deliveroo lets families of riders use online courses

Deliveroo, a food delivery platform, has opened access to free online learning courses to the families of its Irish delivery staff. The so called ‘Rider Academy courses’ are delivered through ‘Open Classrooms’, an e-learning website. Courses cover topics like graphic design, marketing, entrepreneurship, coding, software development, project management and developing soft skills.

Platform

Ireland; Other

Temporary compensation scheme for platform workers

A temporary compensation scheme was introduced for self-employed workers including platform workers (workers without a business registry number) who expect a loss of revenue. The self-employed person can recover 75% of the expected loss of income not taxable at source, however not exceeding DKK 23,000 (€3,084) per month, on condition that the person solemnly declares an expected loss of revenue of at least 30% due to COVID-19 between 9 March to 9 June 2020. The parties agreed to also examine whether zero-hour contract workers could be covered by the scheme ( further information here ).

Government

Denmark

Easier access to social benefits for platform workers

For self-employed or workers in the platform economy who have no access to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), the government facilitated easier access to other social benefits like support for rent costs. In a similar fashion, platform economy workers will not have to be present physically, but will be able to go online to register for these benefits, and in particular for the Employment and Support Allowance (ESA, a government scheme for people with disability or health condition that affects how much you can work) that will be eligible for claim as of the first day of quarantine instead of the normal 8th day being out of work ( further information here ).

Government

United Kingdom

Hermes support fund

German delivery firm Hermes announced on 6 March 2020 that it would set aside a £1 million (€1.15 million) support fund for its 15,000 independent delivery workers in the United Kingdom, if they have to self-isolate because of the coronavirus. The group has also pledged to help its self-employed delivery workers to find a replacement if necessary and has committed to ensuring they can continue to work the same rounds when they return to work. Trade unions are concerned about the fate of platform workers, since workers in this sector are not entitled to sick pay and can therefore be hit hard if they need to stop working for any reason ( further information here ). Platform United Kingdom

Type: Industrial action

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

NIdiL and CGIL

NEW

 

Italian General Confederation of Labour (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, CGIL) launched its New job identities (Nuove Identità di Lavoro, NIdiL) section in 1998 to ensure representation and protection for atypical workers. Workers of the platform economy, including riders, are also members of NIdiL CGIL. The organisation is articulated on both national and territorial level.

During the COVID-19 crisis, NIdiL launched several campaigns in protection of platform workers. For example, in Piedmont, it supported a strike by Amazon workers who denounced the inacceptable working conditions imposed by the company during the emergency. At national level, NIdiL launched the #dimenticatidaconte action, denouncing the fact that measures taken by the Italian government were largely inadequate for riders. It also promoted a court case against Just Eat which led to the recognition of the right to safety and health for platform workers and which established the applicability of the employment relationship regulation to them. NIdiL CGIL has also been engaged in getting closer to self-organised movements of riders and the union has kept a forward-looking cooperation with the other two most representative Italian trade union confederations in putting forward a proposal for the better protection of this category of workers towards the Italian government.

Employee organisation

Italy

CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon

NEW

 

The CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon was formed in spring 2019 from the CGT Committee of Precarious Workers, with the aim of federating the workers of the delivery platforms and collectively establishing their claims. The section aims to defend the rights of platform workers and to reach new ones. Numerous mobilisations have been organised since 2019, including several strikes against the drop in pay in March 2020, as well as a whole campaign of calls for stopping work and demanding compensation for delivery workers during the COVID-19. The section works in conjunction with other CGT organisations, including the numerous delivery workers’ unions.

In October 2020, the constitutive congress of the CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon union was held, in the presence of representatives of the National Federation of CGT Transport Unions and of the CGT Transport Federation.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

France

Dataset worker resistance

This dataset collects information on informal and formal strikes and protest activities by platform workers from July 2016 until December 2017, and involves 41 incidents across 7 countries and more than 1,400 workers. The data collection method involves members of the food delivery network reporting on activities in their respective locality. Additionally, French workers in the network have mapped these 41 incidents.

Further reading: Worker resistance in European food platforms 

Worker, Research institute

Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom

Deliveroo strikes Netherlands

In January 2018, about 80 workers affiliated to the food delivery platform Deliveroo went on strike in major cities in the Netherlands. The main reason for this was the platform’s refusal to extend contracts unless the workers registered as self-employed. The strike was supported by the youth branch of one of the major trade unions, FNV jong. Later in the month, Dutch riders went (again) on a one-day strike to support Belgian Deliveroo riders who had been on strike for more than a week (as in the Netherlands, supported by trade unions). Furthermore, Deliveroo riders from France, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands travelled to Brussels to join the Belgian counterparts in demonstrations.
Overall, the strikes of Deliveroo riders in the Netherlands led to the government launching an investigation into the platform economy, to determine whether the contracting situation of platform workers is in alignment with the Dutch labour code (see further information).

Worker, Employee organisation

Netherlands, Belgium

Deliveroo strike Spain

In July 2017, there was a strike of hundreds of Deliveroo riders in Spain, halting work for a few hours to take part in protests in Madrid and Barcelona. They asked for a decent salary (at least two deliveries per hour to reduce salary uncertainty) and a minimum working time of 20 hours per week. Traditional trade unions, such as the Workers Commission ( Confederación sindicale Comisiones Obreras, CCOO) and the Workers General Union ( Unión General de Trabajadores, UGT), supported their demands, arguing that this kind of digital platform is deliberately evading current labour legislation and may bring about more labour precariousness.

Worker, Employee organisation

Spain

Deliveroo strike United Kingdom

In August 2016, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) assisted a group of Deliveroo riders during their six days of strike action and protests against changes to pay (announced reduction of the hourly pay during quieter periods for some of the riders) in the United Kingdom. The dispute, which was also supported by the government, was resolved largely in the workers’ favour.

Similar strike action took place in early 2019, demanding, amongst others, a minimum pay for each delivery, paid waiting times and a minimum notice period for contract termination (see further information).

Worker, Employee organisation

United Kingdom

Independent Deliverymens’ Collective in Paris (CLAP)

The Independent Deliverymens’ Collective in Paris ( Collectif des Livreurs Autonomes de Paris, CLAP), is a self-organised food delivery rider group. In July 2018, the collective went on strike during the two World Cup games to protest dangerous working conditions and the platforms’ recruitment strategies, which centres around hiring many workers and results in low wages and much competition for shifts. Workers of Deliveroo, Foodora, Glovo and Stuart participated in the strike.

Worker

France

Type: Legislation

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

California Assembly Bill No. 5

Under a new law in California, many rideshare drivers and other independent contractors working in the ride hailing industry will have to be reclassified as employees, which would make them eligible for legal protections, sick leave, a minimum wage, and other rights that employees in traditional employment relationships enjoy. Advocates of the law, which include labour activists and unions, argue it is necessary to provide economic security for the ride hailing workforce. Opponents, including ride hailing firms Uber, Lyft and DoorDash, argue the law jeopardises their business model that relies on flexibility and plan push for a ballot proposal to exempt themselves from the new rules. Overall, more than one milion workers in California will be impacted by the new rules.

Government United States
Revision of the legal framework for platform workers The Bill on Transport Mobility (‘Loi LOM’) has the objective of improving social rights and working conditions of platform workers in the transport sector, as well as improving their right to lifelong learning and increasing legal certainty for stakeholders. To achieve this, transport platforms (such as those mediating the delivery of food or rides) can voluntarily establish a corporate social responsibility charter. The charter should have the following contents:
•    Ensure freedom of activity and prohibit any exclusivity clause
•    Prohibit the unilateral breaking of contract without compensation
•    Guarantee a decent income for each task performed
•    Provide opportunities for career advancement and training programmes
•    Improve working conditions and ensure platforms comply with their obligations on transparency
Once established and approved by the French administration, the charter has a binding legal character and is annexed to the commercial contract of the platform worker.
Government France

Social protection for self-employed delivery platform workers

In November 2019, the Italian Parliament converted into law the Decree no. 101/2019 to introduce new provisions for social protection of self-employed delivery platform workers. The reform is addressed to self-employed platform workers of delivery platforms, who use bicycles and motorised vehicles for delivery. The reform intends to guarantee for these workers the same working conditions as those of permanent employment contracts. The following rules apply:
•    The platform must provide to the worker a written employment contract containing all relevant information for working conditions and safety and health;
•    Social partners can define wages via collective bargaining, taking into account the platform model of delivery activities and working conditions;
•    In absence of collective bargaining in place for a platform, the wage cannot solely consist of a remuneration per delivery. It must have a fixed minimum wage, based on minimum wage levels established in comparable sectors by collective bargaining at national level;
•    The collective bargaining agreement must also contain clauses to remunerate night work, weekend and holiday work, and work during unfavourable weather conditions, which must be at least 10% higher than the standard pay;
•    Workers are protected by anti-discrimination legislation;
•    The platform cannot exclude workers or reduce their work opportunities as consequence of non-acceptance of delivery proposals sent by the platform;
•    Personal data must be protected;
•    Self-employed workers have guaranteed access to a social protection package, including a daily indemnity for illness, hospital stay, and a guarantee of maternity and parental leave.
A national observatory is foreseen to monitor and evaluate the new legislation with the participation of social partners and other national institutions.
Government Italy
Regulation on European Crowdfunding Service Providers for Business

On 24 June 2019 the Council adopted its position on the Proposal on European Crowdfunding Service Providers (ECSP) for Business. 
The aim is to improve access by investors and businesses to new financing sources by establishing a new regulatory framework including the minimum requirements on platforms.
The main elements of the Council position include:

  • removing barriers for crowdfunding platforms operating cross-border;
  • providing tailored rules for EU crowdfunding businesses depending on whether they provide their funding in the form of a loan or an investment (through shares and bonds issued by the company that raises funds);
  • providing a common set of prudential, information and transparency requirements to ensure a high level of investor protection;
  • defining common authorisation and supervision rules for national competent authorities.

The proposal would cover crowdfunding campaigns of up to € 8 million over a 12 months period as a general rule. Where Member States have decided to set the threshold for prospectus obligations below € 8 million, they should be able to prohibit the raising of capital for crowdfunding projects from its residents for amounts exceeding that national threshold. Reward- and donation-based crowdfunding fall outside the scope of the proposal since they cannot be regarded as financial services.

Government EU28

European Council – regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services

On 14 June 2019 the Council adopted the regulation on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services. 
The regulation establishes a legal framework that guarantees transparent terms and conditions for business users of online platforms, as well as effective possibilities for redress when these terms and conditions are not respected.
The online platforms that will be covered by the regulation include online market places, including labour platforms, online software application stores and/or online social media, as well as online search engines, irrespective of their place of establishment, provided they serve business users that are established within the EU and that they offer goods or services to consumers who are also located within the EU.
To improve transparency, platforms are required to:
  • use plain terms and conditions for the provision of their online intermediation services.; 
  • provide a statement of reasons each time they decide to restrict, suspend or terminate the use of their services by a business user.; 
  • disclose publicly the main parameters determining the ranking of business users in search results, as well as any differentiated treatment that they grant to goods and/or services offered directly by them or through any business falling under their remit.; 
  • disclose the description of the main economic, commercial or legal considerations for restricting the ability of business users to offer different conditions to consumers outside the platform.
Government  EU28

Danish Government Sharing Economy Strategy

The Danish government has set out 22 proposals concerning taxation in the sharing economy and to a smaller extent, regulating working conditions as well as offering more clarity on rules and responsibilities for workers, clients and platforms operating in the sharing economy. The government aims to set up an online portal through which sharing economy platforms can access specific information provided by the authorities. Also, online reporting of revenue will be made possible and the government will lower taxes on income generated through providing accommodation or transportation through platforms. Further, the government aims to take measures against grey areas existing in legislation and will provide information to unemployment insurance funds and job centres on the rules for unemployment benefits in relation to persons’ activities in the sharing economy.

Government

Denmark

Estonian Public Transportation Act

In 2017, the Estonian Parliament amended the Public Transportation Act (entry into force 1 November 2017) to regulate platform-based transportation services and define their position compared to established and regulated taxi services. With this amendment, it is no longer necessary for taxi drivers to have any professional training. Instead, the taxi and rideshare businesses are responsible for arranging necessary instruction. Additionally, the amendment no longer requires taxis to have a taximeter. For platform-based transportation services, the ride is ordered and the price is calculated online, allowing the client to reject the ride if it is deemed too expensive. When clients are retrieved at a taxi stand or from the curb, the vehicle is still obliged to have a meter and must adhere to price limits that are set by local governments, whereas this price limit will not be applied to platform-based services.

Government

Estonia

France: Law 2016-1088

Law 2016-1088 of 9 August 2016 provides a legal definition of ‘electronic platforms’ and extends individual and collective rights to platform workers. Collective rights include workers’ right to create or join a union and to organise or participate in a strike and these may not be grounds for the client or platform to sever the contractual relationship. Since January 2018, for those workers who have generated over €5,099 of sales revenue, platforms must bear the costs of the workers’ occupational accident insurance coverage and must cover the costs of ‘the validation of academic credit due to work experience’, meaning to obtain professional certification for the work experience they have gained.

Government

France

Italy: Decree 50/2017

From 1 May 2017, Italy implemented a new law regulating short-term accommodation rental (relevant for platforms), popularly called the ‘Airbnb tax’. The new law obliges platforms to withhold 21% of the gross amount charged by the landlord by way of a flat-rate tax rather than at the usual income tax rate which can range between 23% and 43%. This law applies to all accommodation rentals that are rented out for a short time, meaning fewer than 30 days in a calendar year.

Government

Italy

Regione Lazio

The Italian region of Lazio drafted a manifesto of the ‘Fundamental rights in the gig-economy’, and a new proposed draft legislation titled: ‘Proposal for a regional law on standards for the protection and security of digital workers’ has been adopted after a public consultation phase regulating wage, health and safety and social security aspects of platform work, despite the lack of competence to legislate in this field at regional level.

Government

Italy

French Law no.  2018-898 of 23 October 2018

France has adopted its tax code to introduce specific reporting requirements for platforms. Platforms must provide clear and transparent information on tax obligations to their users and provide an electronic link to the website of the tax office to enable users to comply. They are also obliged to provide on an annual basis information to both users and the tax authorities on the transactions that took place in that year.

Government

France

Amendment to Residential Tenancies Act in Ireland

Ireland has amended its residential tenancies laws to reduce the number of properties being rented out on platforms such as Airbnb. The new legislation requires homeowners to obtain planning permission to be used for tourism or short-term letting before they can rent their property out to Airbnb customers. The new regulations will put a 14-day cap on rooms being used for short-term letting. Local council staff will be employed to monitor compliance with the new law.

Government

Ireland

Portuguese regulation in the transport sector

In Portugal, a new regulation stipulates that individual workers cannot have a direct relationship with Uber. A regulation for the transport sector (Lei no. 45/2018 – Electronic Platforms for Passenger Transport Services Law) stipulates that the workers, instead, should register and have a written contract with a third party, which in turn has a written contract with Uber. This third party has to be a business, i.e. it cannot be a natural person. If drivers want to work for Uber, they either have to establish their own business and set up the relationship in that way, or join an existing business that already has a contract with the platform. Drivers can thus be self-employed or employees of this third party.

Government

Portugal

EU transparency obligations for online platforms

The EU is introducing new rules which will provide businesses with a more transparent, fair and predictable online business environment, as well as an efficient system for seeking redress. The regulation adopted by the Council addresses relations between online platforms and businesses. The main aim of the regulation is to establish a legal framework that guarantees transparent terms and conditions for business users of online platforms, as well as effective possibilities for redress when these terms and conditions are not respected.

Further reading: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services

Government

EU28

Slovenian Road Transport Act

The Ministry of Infrastructure in Slovenia has made amendments to its Road Transport Act (Zakon o prevozih v cestnem prometu) to consider the ride-hailing platform Uber. Workers for Uber would have to obtain taxi licenses before they can work as Uber driver. The ministry also signed a letter of intent with Uber to promote cooperation. Government Slovenia

Type: Negotiation of working conditions

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

United Freelancers and ACV-CSC

NEW

 

The Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (Algemeen Christelijk Vakverbond in Dutch, Confédération des syndicats chrétiens in French, ACV-CSC) has been cooperating since the beginning of 2017 with the Collectif des couriers to negotiate with Deliveroo and Uber Eats in order to improve the working conditions of platform workers. It has especially covered:

- Organisation of various meetings with couriers to forge a union spirit, set-up and validate lists of demands, negotiation goals, organise protest actions, etc.

- Several negotiation meetings with Deliveroo, although no comprehensive agreement has been reached.

On this basis, in 2019, ACV-CSC set up United Freelancers , a dedicated team for support of platform workers and all new forms of employment. The United Freelancers website provides information and services as well as possibilities to affiliate to the CSC union.

Employee organisation

Belgium

UGT - Manifesto of Intentions - Car Rental Companies

NEW

In September 2018, the Workers General Union ( Unión General de Trabajadores , UGT) signed a manifesto of intentions with the employer organisation of car rental companies with drivers (VTC), including Cabify, a platform operating in Spain and in 10 other countries. Negotiations on the agreement were launched after drivers contacted UGT and informed it of their work situation. The agreement aimed at ensuring safe working conditions for all drivers and pushing all platforms, including Uber, to join. The agreement was proof of shared intentions, but it did not set any concrete actions. However, it provided the opportunity to start an ongoing dialogue. A collective agreement negotiation table was set up with the aim of regulating working conditions in the future.

Further reading:

Employee organisation; Business association

Spain

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB)

NEW

 

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) represents mainly low paid migrant workers, such as outsourced cleaners and security guards, and platform workers. IWGB was founded in 2012, and its branches undertake campaigns for better pay and working conditions. IWGB has taken to court several platform operators on a range of employment matters.

On 23 March 2020, IWGB announced that the union would sue the government to denounce that statutory sick pay arrangements in the light of COVID-19 discriminate against workers from ethnic minorities, women and platform workers. The union pleas that the government’s 80% wage subsidies for employees further discriminate against platform workers. On the same day, the union launched a £20,000 (€22,261) crowd-funder to protect itself from potential legal costs.

On 21 October 2020, IWGB attended the High Court to bring a judicial review that could extend health and safety rights to all ‘workers’, including workers in the platform economy. Many of these workers, including Uber drivers and parcel couriers, were designated ‘key workers’ by the government during the first wave of COVID-19. Victory for the union would win them all a legal right to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to take legal action against employers who dismiss them for refusing work in dangerous conditions.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

United Kingdom

NIdiL and CGIL

NEW

 

Italian General Confederation of Labour (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, CGIL) launched its New job identities (Nuove Identità di Lavoro, NIdiL) section in 1998 to ensure representation and protection for atypical workers. Workers of the platform economy, including riders, are also members of NIdiL CGIL. The organisation is articulated on both national and territorial level.

During the COVID-19 crisis, NIdiL launched several campaigns in protection of platform workers. For example, in Piedmont, it supported a strike by Amazon workers who denounced the inacceptable working conditions imposed by the company during the emergency. At national level, NIdiL launched the #dimenticatidaconte action, denouncing the fact that measures taken by the Italian government were largely inadequate for riders. It also promoted a court case against Just Eat which led to the recognition of the right to safety and health for platform workers and which established the applicability of the employment relationship regulation to them. NIdiL CGIL has also been engaged in getting closer to self-organised movements of riders and the union has kept a forward-looking cooperation with the other two most representative Italian trade union confederations in putting forward a proposal for the better protection of this category of workers towards the Italian government.

Employee organisation

Italy

GMB Union and Hermes

NEW

 

Hermes’ self-employed couriers are entitled to take holiday pay and have guaranteed earnings following a ground-breaking deal between the leading consumer delivery company and GMB Union. In early 2019, GMB (a union affiliated to the Trades Union Congress ) and the delivery company Hermes signed the first-ever collective bargaining agreement in the UK for self-employed couriers in the platform economy. The agreement aims to protect the rights of self-employed worker who provide courier services to Hermes. Hermes couriers have the option to become ‘self-employed plus’, which provides a number of benefits such as holiday pay (pro-rata up to 28 days), and individually negotiated pay rates that allow couriers to earn at least £8.55 (€9.49) per hour over the year. The agreement was achieved after 200 Hermes drivers took the platform to court and the employment tribunal recognised they were workers and not self-employed in summer 2018.

Employee organisation; Platform

United Kingdom

CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon

NEW

 

The CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon was formed in spring 2019 from the CGT Committee of Precarious Workers, with the aim of federating the workers of the delivery platforms and collectively establishing their claims. The section aims to defend the rights of platform workers and to reach new ones. Numerous mobilisations have been organised since 2019, including several strikes against the drop in pay in March 2020, as well as a whole campaign of calls for stopping work and demanding compensation for delivery workers during the COVID-19. The section works in conjunction with other CGT organisations, including the numerous delivery workers’ unions.

In October 2020, the constitutive congress of the CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon union was held, in the presence of representatives of the National Federation of CGT Transport Unions and of the CGT Transport Federation.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

France

Collective agreement between Bzzt and Swedish Transport Workers' Union

NEW

 

The agreement between the transportation (by small, electric, three-wheeled moped) start-up Bzzt and the Swedish Transport Workers’ Union allows Bzzt drivers to be covered by the Taxi Agreement, which gives the workers access to the same standards as traditional taxi drivers. Drivers affiliated to Bzzt are offered marginal part-time contracts. The start-up Bzzt was launched in 2017, the agreement was signed in 2018.

Further reading:

Employee organisation; Platform

Sweden

Collective agreement between Foodora and the United Federation of Trade Unions

NEW

Since September 2019, there is a collective agreement between Foodora (mediating bicycle food delivery) and Fellesforbundet (United Federation of Trade Unions). The agreement includes a wage increase, reimbursement for equipment, extra pay in winter time and collectively agreed early retirement pensions for the workers (employee status). Employee organisation, Platform Norway

Registration of Amazon Flex deliverers

NEW

 

In 2019, the Spanish trade union ( Unión General de Trabajadores , UGT) filed a complaint with the Madrid labour inspectorate against the Amazon Flex platform, considering that it commits fraud around the figure of the bogus self-employed, since the workers use their own cars.

In October 2020, the labour inspectorate has officially registered 4,066 Amazon Flex delivery workers who worked as self-employed workers in the general Social Security regime. The ruling requires Amazon to pay over €6 million in unpaid social security contributions.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

Spain

FairTube

FairTube is a campaign that demands fairness and transparency for people who create videos on YouTube (‘creators’). The FairTube campaign is a joint initiative of IG Metall (the German Metalworkers' Union) and the Youtubers Union. The campaign claims that YouTube has made it difficult for smaller content creators to earn money on the platform, while at the same time favouring channels by larger creators such as corporations, celebrities or media companies. FairTube demands from YouTube to (1) publish all categories and decision criteria that affect monetisation and views of videos, (2) give clear explanations for individual decisions, (3) give YouTubers a human contact person who is qualified and authorised to explain decisions that have negative consequences for YouTubers (and fix them if they are mistaken), (4) let YouTubers contest decisions that have negative consequences, (5) create an independent mediation board for resolving disputes (here the Ombuds Office of the Crowdsourcing Code of Conduct can offer relevant lessons), and (6) establish a formal participation of YouTubers in important decisions. In August 2019, the initiators of the campaign and Google, YouTube’s parent company, have entered negotiations.

In March 2020, the YouTubers Union has re-established discussions with YouTube. They elaborated their proposals for improved communication, fairness, and transparency into a detailed list of concrete, practical suggestions, and received positive feedback from YouTube.

Employee organisation, Platform EU28, Other
Collective agreement for bicycle couriers in Austria

Social partners in Austria have agreed on the first collective agreement for bicycle couriers. The new collective agreement applies to all bicycle couriers, that is, both those who have an employment contract with a traditional company and those who have an employment contract with a platform. From 1 January 2020, they receive a monthly gross wage of €1,506, additional holiday and Christmas remunerations, and the customary additional 13th and 14th months pay. The collective agreement contains a 40-hour week and the option to work only four days a week. When couriers use their own bicycle and equipment, they receive an additional compensation of 0.14€ per kilometre. According to unions, there are thousands of bicycle couriers in Austria. Their employment status is unclear. However, not all of them have an employment contract but might work as independent contractors, which would not make them eligible for the conditions under the collective agreement.

Employee organisation Austria

Collectif des Courier-e-s (Couriers Collective)

The self-organised Couriers Collective originates in Belgium in 2016 and is composed of bike couriers of several food delivery platforms, such as UberEats, Deliveroo and TakeAway. It is supported by the National Union of Employees (Centrale Nationale des Employés, CNE) and the Transport and Communications (Transcom) division of the General Christian Trade Union (Algemene Christelijke Vakbond, ACV). The Collective aims to negotiate better working conditions for the riders. To that end, it has organised several strikes. Furthermore, it organises meetings, liaises with other initiatives across Europe and has set up a ‘strike bank’ to collect money to support striking workers.

Further reading: Riders are organising in Brussels

Worker, Employee organisation

Belgium

Collective agreement 3F and Hilfr

In April 2018, the Danish trade union 3F and platform for cleaning services Hilfr signed the first collective agreement on platform work in Denmark. The agreement entered into force on 1 August 2018 and covers the so-called ‘Super Hilfrs’ (employee status). Workers are paid at least DKR 141.2 per hour (€19) and an additional DKR 20 (€2.70) as ‘welfare supplement’. The latter must be set aside by the worker for sickness, retirement, holidays and similar. Furthermore, the agreement specifies there will be an information exchange between the platform and tax authorities.

Further reading:

An assessment of the agreement of early 2020 finds a high level of work satisfaction among Super Hilfrs, including earnings and the security provided by the agreement. From the platform’s perspective, the agreement has improved its visibility and branding as a socially responsible actor.

In 2020, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) assessed that the minimum hourly fee constitutes a concerted practice for the services mediated through Hilfr which might limit the competition. As a result, Hilfr offered to remove the minimum hourly fee for their so-called Freelance Hilfrs (not covered by the collective agreement) and committed to consider the so-called Super Hilfrs as employees in relation to competition law by ensuring a legal subordination relationship and bearing the financial risk of the cleaning work.

Further reading:

Employee organisation, Platformfairtube

Denmark

Collective agreement Italian logistics sector

In December 2017, a collective agreement was concluded in the Italian logistics sector which now for the first time includes food delivery riders in its contractual qualifications. The agreement was signed by the unions Confetra, Anita, Conftrasporo, Can-Fita, Transport Confartigianato, Sna-Casartigiani, and by employer organisations such as Claai and Filt Cgil. The agreement covers working time, the requirement for notice and compensation for changes in working schedules and compensation in case of illness. Following this collective bargaining agreement, the union Cgil has proposed to start negotiating the algorithms of food delivery platforms that manage task allocation and schedules.

Employee organisation; Business association

Italy

Deliveroo strike Spain

In July 2017, there was a strike of hundreds of Deliveroo riders in Spain, halting work for a few hours to take part in protests in Madrid and Barcelona. They asked for a decent salary (at least two deliveries per hour to reduce salary uncertainty) and a minimum working time of 20 hours per week. Traditional trade unions, such as the Workers Commission ( Confederación sindicale Comisiones Obreras, CCOO) and the Workers General Union ( Unión General de Trabajadores, UGT), supported their demands, arguing that this kind of digital platform is deliberately evading current labour legislation and may bring about more labour precariousness.

Worker, Employee organisation

Spain

Deliveroo strike United Kingdom

In August 2016, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain (IWGB) assisted a group of Deliveroo drivers during their six days of strike action and protests against changes to pay (announced reduction of the hourly pay during quieter periods for some of the riders) in the United Kingdom. The dispute, which was also backed by the government, was resolved largely in the workers’ favour.

Similar strike action took place in early 2019, demanding, amongst others, a minimum pay for each delivery, paid waiting times and a minimum notice period for contract termination (further information here).  

Worker, Employee organisation

United Kingdom

Deliver Union Campaign, FAU Berlin

The Deliver Union is a group of Foodora and Deliveroo bicycle couriers which started organising themselves in 2016 within the FAU Berlin ( Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter-Union, Free Workers’ Union). The Deliver Union aims to negotiate better working conditions for workers of the food delivery companies. Demands include:

  • To have all repair costs covered by Deliveroo and Foodora;
  • A pay increase of €1 per hour, per employee, and an additional €1 for freelancers;
  • An immediate freeze on recruitment to guarantee enough hours for existing riders to make a living;
  • Specifically for Deliveroo: Transparency toward workers on the number of hours they have worked, which they currently cannot assess although they are tracked;
  • Specifically for Foodora: Payment of the equivalent of one hour’s work to compensate for work-related tasks undertaken in spare time.

The Deliver Union organises meetings, strikes, signature campaigns and events in Berlin and keeps a Facebook page.

Worker, Employee organisation

Germany

GoOpti worker protest

In 2014 in Slovenia, drivers affiliated with GoOpti, a platform matching demand and supply for transport, posted leaflets on vans to protest against working conditions. Together with the trade union ZSSS ( Zveza svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije, Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia) they reported violations of drivers’ rights to the labour inspectorate which sanctioned the platform on the ground of misclassification of the employment status (self-employed rather than employees). As a result, in 2015 the platform adopted a new business model. Since then, they subcontract the tasks to transport companies rather than themselves employing drivers.

Worker, Employee organisation

Slovenia

Independent Deliverymens’ Collective in Paris (CLAP)

The Independent Deliverymens’ Collective in Paris ( Collectif des Livreurs Autonomes de Paris, CLAP), is a self-organised food delivery rider group. In July 2018, the collective went on strike during the two World Cup games to protest dangerous working conditions and the platforms’ recruitment strategies, which centres around hiring many workers and results in low wages and much competition for shifts. Workers of Deliveroo, Foodora, Glovo and Stuart participated in the strike.

Worker

France

Riders Union Bologna

Riders Union Bologna is a group of riders and social activists working in Bologna to solve the problems such as precariousness and the lack of protections in the platform economy. Riders Union Bologna organises meetings and strikes. Some of the most successful actions, both in terms of participation and press coverage, took place on days with extreme weather conditions, when some of the platforms operating in Bologna refused to suspend deliveries at the expenses of workers’ safety. In at least one of these occasions, participation in the strike was so high that platforms were forced to interrupt services.

In 2017, Riders Union Bologna signed a petition addressed to Deliveroo with other self-organised collectives ‘Deliveroo Strike Raiders’ and ‘Deliverance Project’. The demands included the application of the ‘national collective bargaining agreement on transportation, the introduction of an employment contract, the renewal of all the contracts that were about to expire, a minimum wage of €7.50 per hour, the guarantee of at least 20 hours’ of assignments per week pay, a 30% raise in case of rain or snow, a provision for overtime, and compensation for exposure to smog, as well as insurance coverage, the reimbursement of maintenance expenses for the worker’s bicycle and phone, and a safety kit with a helmet’. In April 2018, Riders Union Bologna hosted the first National Riders Assembly. The event included exchanges and mutual learning sessions at national and European level. Riders Union Bologna also went a step further and addressed the demands to the local institutions.

Further reading: Bargaining with the algorithm

On 31 May 2018 in Bologna, Italy, a ‘Charter of fundamental digital workers’ rights within an urban setting’ was signed by the city’s mayor, the Riders Union Bologna, the Italian General Confederation of Labour ( Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, CGIL), the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Trade Unions ( Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori, CISL) and the Italian Labour Union (Unione Italiana del Lavoro, UIL) and by two food delivery platforms, Sgnam and MyMenu, which together employ about a third of food delivery riders in Bologna. The Charter sets out a fix hourly rate that equals or exceeds the minimum wage in the respective sector, compensation for overtime, public holidays, bad weather compensation, insurance (covered by the platform) for accidents and illness at work, as well as coverage for accidents that may occur on the way to and returning from work, compensation for bicycle maintenance, and the guarantee of freedom of association and the right to strike.

Further reading:

Charter of fundamental digital workers’ rights

Worker; Employee organisation; Government, Platform

Italy

Riders x Derechos (Riders for Rights)

In Spain, food delivery riders, notably those affiliated to Deliveroo, founded a Facebook group ‘Riders x Derechos’ (Riders for Rights), to negotiate better working conditions with the respective platforms, including a change of the employment status from self-employed to employee. They have also set up the ‘National Association of Bike Courier Services’ (‘Asociación Nacional de Ciclomensajería’), which tries to support and offer useful information for delivery riders in regards to taxation and accident insurance.

In 2018, the group joined forces with Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya (AIC) to demand changes to the conditions of ‘false self-employed’ workers from the labour inspectorate. The group received new attention on the news when in early 2019 a worker of Glovo, a delivery platform, died in a bike accident. Riders x Derechos and other Glovo workers claim that Glovo is not making enough efforts to guarantee the safety of its workers.

Worker

Spain

Riders’ Union Bologna, Deliverance Project, Strike Raiders

In Italy, the Riders’ Union Bologna, Deliverance Project and Strike Raiders are active in several Italian cities. They organise workers of Deliveroo, Glovo and others to negotiate better working conditions. For example, in July 2018, riders for Glovo blocked the entrance to a fast food restaurant to protest the low pay and to be able to hand in a list of demands to the company. Furthermore, in August 2018, these organisations were invited to participate in the second national round table discussion convened by the Minister of Labour and Economic Development, for which they presented a letter with requested improvements of working conditions as well as arguing for legislative intervention and reforms that would provide better protections for food delivery riders.

Worker

Italy

SE (Societas Europaea, European Company) Works Council Delivery Hero

On 16 April 2018, an agreement establishing an SE Works Council in Delivery Hero (which owns Foodora) was signed in Berlin with the German Food, Beverages and Catering Union (Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten, NGG), the Italian Federation of Workers of Commerce, Hotels, Canteens and Services (Federazione Italiana Lavoratori Commercio, Albergo, Mensa e Servizi, FILMCAMS –CGIL) and the European EFFAT, (European Federation of Food, Agriculture and Tourism). The agreement specifies that each country in which the company is active must have at least one employee representative in the ‘European Company’ (SE) works council and the council must be provided with detailed information on the company’s strategies, on any investment or divestment plans and on plans which may impact the work organisation and employee interests. Also, the agreement specifies that employee representatives can participate in the supervisory board, where they should be represented in equal numbers as the stakeholders and will hold the same voting rights. Consequently, when the new Delivery Hero SE was created in July 2018, employee representatives joined the supervisory board.

Employee organisation, Platform

Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden.

Works council Foodora Austria

In March 2017, Foodora bike couriers elected a works council in Vienna, which aims to negotiate an agreement with the Foodora management concerning better working conditions, particularly during the winter period. Demands include a guarantee of the mileage allowance (10 to 15% of overall pay), insurance for bicycles and the smartphones in case of damage or theft. Furthermore, the works council will negotiate for more transparency in tracking of its couriers and its implementation of disciplinary measures.

Worker

Austria

Transnational Federation of Couriers

In October 2018, the Transnational Federation of Couriers was founded, representing platform workers across Europe. Its aim is to improve the working conditions of workers in the platform economy. Interviews with workers that attended the meeting can be found here .

Workers

France, Italy, Finland, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium

Justice4Couriers

Justice4Couriers is a campaign by Finish delivery platform workers to improve the working conditions of couriers and drivers. The campaign demands repeal to pay cuts, transparent shift allocations, break spaces for couriers and drivers, equipment compensations and insurances against illness and accidents, and the possibility of an employment contract. The main targets of the campaign are Foodora and Wolt.

Workers

Finland

Swedish collective bargaining framework to regulate platform work

The Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum, a policy research organisation with a focus on entrepreneurship and small enterprise development, finds a tendency in the Swedish platform economy to voluntarily sign sectoral collective bargaining agreements. A questionnaire filled by senior management of platforms in 2018 reveals that the rationale for these voluntary agreements stems from the platform’s desire to appeal as a ’fair option’, as well as to get access to skilled employees in a tight labour market.

Employers

Sweden

 

Type: Provision of insurance and social protection

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

Social protection for self-employed delivery platform workers

In November 2019, the Italian Parliament converted into law the Decree no. 101/2019 to introduce new provisions for social protection of self-employed delivery platform workers. The reform is addressed to self-employed platform workers of delivery platforms, who use bicycles and motorised vehicles for delivery. The reform intends to guarantee for these workers the same working conditions as those of permanent employment contracts. The following rules apply:
•    The platform must provide to the worker a written employment contract containing all relevant information for working conditions and safety and health;
•    Social partners can define wages via collective bargaining, taking into account the platform model of delivery activities and working conditions;
•    In absence of collective bargaining in place for a platform, the wage cannot solely consist of a remuneration per delivery. It must have a fixed minimum wage, based on minimum wage levels established in comparable sectors by collective bargaining at national level;
•    The collective bargaining agreement must also contain clauses to remunerate night work, weekend and holiday work, and work during unfavourable weather conditions, which must be at least 10% higher than the standard pay;
•    Workers are protected by anti-discrimination legislation;
•    The platform cannot exclude workers or reduce their work opportunities as consequence of non-acceptance of delivery proposals sent by the platform;
•    Personal data must be protected;
•    Self-employed workers have guaranteed access to a social protection package, including a daily indemnity for illness, hospital stay, and a guarantee of maternity and parental leave.
A national observatory is foreseen to monitor and evaluate the new legislation with the participation of social partners and other national institutions.
Government Italy
Revision of the local framework for platform workers The Bill on Transport Mobility (‘Loi LOM’) has the objective of improving social rights and working conditions of platform workers in the transport sector, as well as improving their right to lifelong learning and increasing legal certainty for stakeholders. To achieve this, transport platforms (such as those mediating the delivery of food or rides) can voluntarily establish a corporate social responsibility charter. The charter should have the following contents:
•    Ensure freedom of activity and prohibit any exclusivity clause
•    Prohibit the unilateral breaking of contract without compensation
•    Guarantee a decent income for each task performed
•    Provide opportunities for career advancement and training programmes
•    Improve working conditions and ensure platforms comply with their obligations on transparency
Once established and approved by the French administration, the charter has a binding legal character and is annexed to the commercial contract of the platform worker.
Government France

Agreement to collaborate between FNV and Temper

In 2018 in the Netherlands, the platform Temper, which matches demand and supply for staff in hotels, restaurants and cafés, approached the hospitality division of the largest Dutch union FNV (Federation National Unions, FNV-Horeca). This division of FNV and the platform have signed a ‘cooperation pact’ as a pilot scheme that will last one year to provide (legally self-employed) Temper workers with training, pensions and insurance. The cooperation between Temper and FNV-Horeca was broadened later in 2018 after a positive experience in the first months, adding further elements such as the removal of a software fee that Temper workers had to pay, and improved training offeringsmore information available in Dutch ).

Further reading: Collaboration agreement Dutch union and platform

Employee organisation, Platform

Netherlands

AXA insurance and Uber

On 25 July 2017, Uber and AXA insurance announced they would work together to provide free accident insurance for Uber drivers in France. This came into effect in autumn 2017. Furthermore, in December 2017, UberEats also offered couriers an insurance package that started in January 2018. From 1 June 2018, a new extended insurance package which includes coverage for accident, injury, illness as well as maternity and paternity benefits, called ‘Partner Protection’, is provided to Uber drivers and UberEats couriers operating in Europe. Additionally, Uber and AXA are collaborating to set up a digital platform containing personalised offers for injury, income, family protection, health cover, retirement and savings.

Platform, Other

France, EU28

BlaBlaSure/AXA

The insurance company AXA and carpooling platform BlaBlaCar have worked together since 2015 to provide BlaBlaCar members roadside assistance. On 30 May 2018, they announced the new programme ‘BlaBlaSure/AXA’ which offers for 14 million members in France no excess charged for damages that occur during a ride. Additionally, the plan provides third-party liability protection, cover against theft and fire and insurance against risks such as accidents and other damages.

Platform, Other

France

Collective agreement 3F and Hilfr

In April 2018, the Danish trade union 3F and platform for cleaning services Hilfr signed the first collective agreement on platform work in Denmark. The agreement entered into force on 1 August 2018 and covers the so-called ‘Super Hilfrs’ (employee status). Workers are paid at least DKR 141.2 per hour (€19) and an additional DKR 20 (€2.70) as ‘welfare supplement’. The latter must be set aside by the worker for sickness, retirement, holidays and similar. Furthermore, the agreement specifies there will be an information exchange between the platform and tax authorities.

Further reading:

An assessment of the agreement of early 2020 finds a high level of work satisfaction among Super Hilfrs, including earnings and the security provided by the agreement. From the platform’s perspective, the agreement has improved its visibility and branding as a socially responsible actor.

In 2020, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) assessed that the minimum hourly fee constitutes a concerted practice for the services mediated through Hilfr which might limit the competition. As a result, Hilfr offered to remove the minimum hourly fee for their so-called Freelance Hilfrs (not covered by the collective agreement) and committed to consider the so-called Super Hilfrs as employees in relation to competition law by ensuring a legal subordination relationship and bearing the financial risk of the cleaning work.

Further reading:

Employee organisation, Platform

Denmark

Danish Government Sharing Economy Strategy

The Danish government has set out 22 proposals concerning taxation in the sharing economy and to a smaller extent, regulating working conditions as well as offering more clarity on rules and responsibilities for workers, clients and platforms operating in the sharing economy. The government aims to set up an online portal through which sharing economy platforms can access specific information provided by the authorities. Also, online reporting of revenue will be made possible and the government will lower taxes on income generated through providing accommodation or transportation through platforms. Further, the government aims to take measures against grey areas existing in legislation and will provide information to unemployment insurance funds and job centres on the rules for unemployment benefits in relation to persons’ activities in the sharing economy.

Government

Denmark

Deliveroo and Qover

In May 2018, Deliveroo collaborated with the insurer Qover to provide private insurance for food delivery couriers in the 12 countries in which Deliveroo is operational, thereby covering an estimated 35,000 workers. The company will provide its riders free accident insurance to cover up to €7,500 of medical expenses and up to 75% of average gross income during temporary inactivity for a maximum of 30 days. Riders will also be protected for one hour once they have logged off, thereby ensuring they are covered for the way home.

Platform

Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Singapore, Spain, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates

France: Law 2016-1088

Law 2016-1088 of 9 August 2016 provides a legal definition of ‘electronic platforms’ and extends individual and collective rights to platform workers. Collective rights include workers’ right to create or join a union and to organise or participate in a strike and these may not be grounds for the client or platform to sever the contractual relationship. Since January 2018, for those workers who have generated over €5,099 of sales revenue, platforms must bear the costs of the workers’ occupational accident insurance coverage and must cover the costs of ‘the validation of academic credit due to work experience’, meaning to obtain professional certification for the work experience they have gained.

Government

France

HK Freelancer and Alka insurance

In Denmark, the Union of Commercial and Clerical Employees (HK/Denmark) in cooperation with the insurance company Alka has developed a special insurance scheme for freelancers (‘HK Freelancer’). It covers a company insurance and insurance of health and safety as well as accidents such as theft, fire and water damage. While being not exclusively targeting platform workers, it is also relevant for them due to the fact that the trade union makes this service available to self-employed without them being full member and its discounted price of DKK 2,700 (€362 as of 1 August 2018) instead of the usual DKK 4,500 (€603).

Employee organisation, Other

Denmark

IPSE (Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed)/Uber

In 2017, Uber partnered with the UK association IPSE (Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed) to provide discounted illness and injury insurance for Uber drivers. Drivers can avail of this for £2 (about €2.20) per week, instead of at the ‘market rate’ of about £8 (€8.80) per week and are insured in case of illness and injury for up to £2,000 (€2,200) if they are unable to drive for two or more weeks.

Platform, Employee organisation

United Kingdom

Moneyfarm/Uber

In the UK, Uber has partnered with the online investment provider Moneyfarm to provide discounts for Uber drivers on financial products such as pensions, individual savings allowances (ISA) and a new pension product SIPP (self-invested pension plan).

Platform, Other

United Kingdom

 

Type: Ratings, reputation system

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

Deemly

Deemly is a reputation verification mechanism for P2P markets and sharing economy platforms. For a given platform, Deemly aggregates ratings from other websites and indicates general elements of ‘trustworthiness’ of users by verifying, for example, their social media profiles, their ratings and review on platforms such as Lyft and Upwork, and/or verifying people’s government issued ID.

Other

United Kingdom

MTurk forum

Online webpage for workers and requesters on Amazon Mechanical Turk. For workers, the forum has areas for discussions on topics such as personal financial goals, statistics on HITs (Human Intelligence Tasks), rating requesters, and sharing links and information for well-paying HITs. For requesters, the forum has an area where they can post HITs and recruit workers.

Worker, Client

Other

FairCrowdWork

FairCrowdWork is an online rating system for web and app-based platforms. It is a joint project of IG Metall (German metalworker’s union), the Austrian Chamber of Labour, the Austrian Trade Union Confederation and the Swedish white-collar union Unionen. FairCrowdWork shows profiles of various work-related platforms for which it has aggregated information from several sources, including:

  • Internet-based background information;
  • Worker surveys;
  • An assessment of the platform’s terms of use.

The profiles give rating insights into pay, communication, evaluation systems, tasks and technology on various platforms. The data also include figures on hourly wages and the frequency of non-payment experiences.

Employee organisation

Germany, Austria, Sweden, Other

Turkopticon

Turkopticon was recently relaunched based on results of a survey among platform workers conducted in 2016. The project was formerly a rating system for Amazon Mechanical Turk requesters (clients), but is now focusing on rating Human Intelligence Tasks (HITs). The project aims to collect objective ratings from workers and guarantees the anonymity of its participants. 

Further reading: Platform economy database on Turkopticon

Employee organisation, Research institute

United States, India

Uber Community Guidelines

The Uber Community Guidelines set out rules of behaviour and user guidelines for drivers for Uber and food delivery services such as UberEats and UberRush. Rules of conduct apply to both drivers and users and concern verbal and non-verbal communication (respectful, non-aggressive, non-sexual) and in the United States includes a prohibition on carrying firearms while using the app. The Community Guidelines also explain how the reputation system and the cancellation rating works and under what circumstances drivers or couriers can lose their access to their account.

Platform

Global

EU transparency obligations for online platforms

The EU is introducing new rules which will provide businesses with a more transparent, fair and predictable online business environment, as well as an efficient system for seeking redress. The regulation adopted by the Council addresses relations between online platforms and businesses. The main aim of the regulation is to establish a legal framework that guarantees transparent terms and conditions for business users of online platforms, as well as effective possibilities for redress when these terms and conditions are not respected.

Further reading: Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on promoting fairness and transparency for business users of online intermediation services

Government

EU28

 

Type: Organising and representing platforms

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

CoopCycle

NEW

 

CoopCycle is the European federation of bicycle delivery cooperatives. Democratically governed by cooperatives, it is based on solidarity between them and allows them to reduce their costs through resources pooling. It creates a collective bargaining force to protect bikers’ rights.

The CoopCyle web platform and software enables bike couriers, customers and restaurants to manage their own activities. Couriers can view their statistics and access the app, restaurants can manage one or more restaurants, and customers can place orders. The software is protected by a reciprocity license, which enforces its use by cooperatives only.

They also have the CoopCycle association, which is a group of volunteers that help bikers to gather and organise. The topics they are working on include:

· the creation of an anti-capitalist economic model based on the Commons

· the development of the CoopCycle software (UI/UX, dev, trainings, docs, aso.)

· political lobbying, juridical toolbox, global coordination.

Business association; Platform

France

Česká asociace sdílené ekonomiky, ČASE (Czech Sharing Economy Association)

NEW

In 2017, eight companies engaged in the sharing economy established ČASE. ČASE actively cooperates with strategic players on the labour market, such as the Chamber of Commerce, with which it compiled a document on ‘Recommendations for the Development of the Sharing Economy’ in 2018. Business association Czechia
Common Platforms (Plateformes en Communs) and Association La Coop des Communs

NEW

Common Platforms (Plateformes en communs) is a community of fair or open digital platforms, including various kinds of members (project leaders, experts, activists). It is also a learning community of platform cooperatives, who share the following principles in their models:

  • Inclusive governance of their stakeholders
  • Fair sharing of the value generated by the interactions
  • Data ethics
  • Fair working conditions for the involved workers
  • Cooperation among platform cooperatives

These principles are shared in the charter of the group.

Plateformes en Communs has four main objectives:

  • Gather: create a French community of platform cooperatives;
  • Highlight: communicate together about fair services provided by the platforms;
  • Produce: create common tools between communities and platforms to accelerate solution solving and innovation.
  • Help: document the innovative practices of platforms about their governance, their production of commons and be a place for experience sharing.

Plateformes en Communs has been created in 2017 by La Coop des Communs , a French association which gathers cutting-edge thinkers and producers of commons: researchers, activists, civil servants, entrepreneurs from the social economy. La Coop des Communs leads the Co-Communs group, who wants to promote commons with the support of cooperatives, municipalities and trade unions in Europe.

Business association; Others

France

Adigital 

NEW

The Spanish Association of the Digital Economy (Adigital) is the business association that promotes the digitalisation of the Spanish economy. They promote the development of the digital economy through the representation and defense of the interests of associates, the distribution, research and creation of synergies, as well as the generation of trust in the digital environment. They aim to contribute to digital economic and social development by facilitating the digital transformation of their business. They recognise the importance of digitalisation for economic growth, job creation and for building more cohesive and sustainable societies. They have an activate collaboration in key sectors through associations and business collectives that work collaboratively and with greater autonomy within the framework of the association.

In October 2020, Adigital presented an analysis of the economic impact of a potential employment of the self-employed distributors who collaborate with digital platforms in Spain. The study suggests that 23,000 distributors could lose their source of income due to the disappearance of the service and Spanish restaurants would lose more than €250 million in revenue. The results of this report highlight the need to find a solution that allows combining the flexibility offered by platforms with greater protection for the self-employed who operate through them.

Further reading:

Business association

Spain

Deutscher Crowdsourcing Verband (DCV) (German Crowdsourcing Association).

The German Crowdsourcing Association (DCV) provides information to its members, which may be individual persons, companies and/or organisations and functions as an advocacy group on their behalf. The DCV’s webpage mentions specifically that it represents the interests of its members and the entire German crowdsourcing industry, in particular in current regulatory initiatives.

Affiliated with the DCV is the German Crowdfunding Network, which provides support to consultants, platform operators, start-ups, scientists and capital providers from Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

Business association

Germany

Estonian Sharing Economy Association (Eesti Jagamismajanduse Liit)

In 2016, the NGO Eesti Jagamismajanduse Liit (Estonian Sharing Economy Association) was founded in Estonia. The founding members are a mix of work-related platforms and platforms following the wider understanding of the platform economy. Representatives of the association have met with the Estonian Minister of Economic Affairs and Infrastructure to discuss how the state can eliminate obstacles to their operations and to discuss opportunities for cooperation between the state and platforms.

Business association

Estonia

Sharing Economy Ireland

Sharing Economy Ireland is an association of local and international ‘technology-enabled’ member organisations operational in Ireland. The association formed in November 2016 with the aim to represent and act as a collective voice for the industry. Among its objectives, the association lists:

  • Create awareness around Ireland’s sharing economy eco-system;
  • Establish standards for responsible sharing practices;
  • Respond to the shared challenges of our members.

In 2017, Sharing Economy Ireland organised several public events and met with Irish politicians. Further, on 12 July 2017 , Sharing Economy Ireland attended a public hearing in Brussels organised by the European Parliament DG EMPL on ‘The impact of business models, including the platform economy, on employment and social security in the EU’.

Business association

Ireland

Sharing Economy UK (SEUK)

Sharing Economy UK represents platforms and businesses operating in the platform economy in the UK. When members join, they sign up to a code of conduct which sets standards for staff training, safety procedures and procedures for handling complaints. Since 2016, Sharing Economy UK awards a ‘ Trustseal’ to businesses meeting six performance criteria.

Business association

United Kingdom

SharingEspaña (SHES)

SharingEspaña (SHES) is a collective of companies operating in the platform economy in Spain which aims to act ‘in defence of the development and reputation of the collaborative economy and the protection of its users’. The collective has drafted and published a set of 13 principles, including the striving to reinforce the image of citizens as producers and micro entrepreneurs and to promote its business models at local, regional and national levels. SHESH also organises thematic breakfasts for the mobility, tourism, services, education and financing sectors, bringing together private and public sector representatives to discuss challenges in the context of the collaborative economy.

Business association

Spain

ShareNL

ShareNL is a knowledge and networking platform for actors in the collaborative and sharing economy. The organisation looks into developments in the collaborative economy and shares its insights with governments, companies, organisations and start-ups at events and informational meet-ups. Furthermore, the organisation functions as a hub in a network of actors in the collaborative economy and brings together interested parties according to their specifications and needs.

Other

Netherlands

GPA-DJP

GPA-DJP, the Austrian union of private sector employees, printing, journalism, and paper, has decided to open its membership to platform workers as of January 2019. Among other things, the membership which costs €10 a month grants access to legal protection and advisory services by the trade union. GPA-DJP explains this step by the fact that Austrian labour and social law does not sufficiently answer issues of platform work, as platforms see themselves as a mediator rather than an employer. The union seeks to connect platform workers, spark a debate about working conditions in the platform economy, and gain information on the design and spread of this form of work.

Employee organisation

Austria

Manifest for intelligent, innovative and quality work

The document drafted by Adigital, an association representing the country’s leading  work platforms summarises their views about the employment forms they manage. They also express their desire to collaborate with the government in dealing with the problems generated by the platform economy. Business association, Platform Spain

Type: Organising and representing workers

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

Collective agreement between Foodora and the United Federation of Trade Unions

NEW

Since September 2019, there is a collective agreement between Foodora (mediating bicycle food delivery) and Fellesforbundet (United Federation of Trade Unions). The agreement includes a wage increase, reimbursement for equipment, extra pay in winter time and collectively agreed early retirement pensions for the workers (employee status). Employee organisation, Platform Norway

Registration of Amazon Flex deliverers

NEW

 

In 2019, the Spanish trade union ( Unión General de Trabajadores , UGT) filed a complaint with the Madrid labour inspectorate against the Amazon Flex platform, considering that it commits fraud around the figure of the bogus self-employed, since the workers use their own cars.

In October 2020, the labour inspectorate has officially registered 4,066 Amazon Flex delivery workers who worked as self-employed workers in the general Social Security regime. The ruling requires Amazon to pay over €6 million in unpaid social security contributions.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

Spain

Riders Union Bologna

NEW

 

Riders Union Bologna is a group of riders and social activists working in Bologna to solve the problems such as precariousness and the lack of protections in the platform economy. Riders Union Bologna organises meetings and strikes. Some of the most successful actions, both in terms of participation and press coverage, took place on days with extreme weather conditions, when some of the platforms operating in Bologna refused to suspend deliveries at the expenses of workers’ safety. In at least one of these occasions, participation in the strike was so high that platforms were forced to interrupt services.

In 2017, Riders Union Bologna signed a petition addressed to Deliveroo with other self-organised collectives ‘Deliveroo Strike Raiders’ and ‘Deliverance Project’. The demands included the application of the ‘national collective bargaining agreement on transportation, the introduction of an employment contract, the renewal of all the contracts that were about to expire, a minimum wage of €7.50 per hour, the guarantee of at least 20 hours’ of assignments per week pay, a 30% raise in case of rain or snow, a provision for overtime, and compensation for exposure to smog, as well as insurance coverage, the reimbursement of maintenance expenses for the worker’s bicycle and phone, and a safety kit with a helmet’. In April 2018, Riders Union Bologna hosted the first National Riders Assembly. The event included exchanges and mutual learning sessions at national and European level. Riders Union Bologna also went a step further and addressed the demands to the local institutions.

Further reading: Bargaining with the algorithm

On 31 May 2018 in Bologna, Italy, a ‘Charter of fundamental digital workers’ rights within an urban setting’ was signed by the city’s mayor, the Riders Union Bologna, the Italian General Confederation of Labour ( Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, CGIL), the Italian Confederation of Workers’ Trade Unions ( Confederazione Italiana Sindacati Lavoratori, CISL) and the Italian Labour Union (Unione Italiana del Lavoro, UIL) and by two food delivery platforms, Sgnam and MyMenu, which together employ about a third of food delivery riders in Bologna. The Charter sets out a fix hourly rate that equals or exceeds the minimum wage in the respective sector, compensation for overtime, public holidays, bad weather compensation, insurance (covered by the platform) for accidents and illness at work, as well as coverage for accidents that may occur on the way to and returning from work, compensation for bicycle maintenance, and the guarantee of freedom of association and the right to strike.

Worker; Employee organisation; Government, Platform Italy

digitalplatformobservatory.org

NEW

 

The digital platform observatory is a joint initiative of ETUC European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), Institute for Social Reintegration (Institut de Reinserció Social, IRES) and Association Work Employment Europe Society Association Travail Emploi Europe Société, ASTREES), funded by the European Commission. It brings together trade unionists, experts, activists, specialists of workers representation and collective action in the platform economy.

Employee organisation;

Other

EU 28

Ver.di and advice for self-employed

NEW

 

Ver.di offers self-employed individuals information, support and an opportunity to become actively involved. The aim is to ensure that self-employed work is recognised as normal, self-determined and adequately remunerated and that social security is sustainable and affordable. They discuss topics that concern all self-employed in knowledge and service professions and elaborate some recommendations for action for unionists about what to do for platform work.

More information on the guide can be found here .

Employee organisation

Germany

Collective agreement between Bzzt and Swedish Transport Workers' Union

NEW

 

The agreement between the transportation (by small, electric, three-wheeled moped) start-up Bzzt and the Swedish Transport Workers’ Union allows Bzzt drivers to be covered by the Taxi Agreement, which gives the workers access to the same standards as traditional taxi drivers. Drivers affiliated to Bzzt are offered marginal part-time contracts. The start-up Bzzt was launched in 2017, the agreement was signed in 2018.

Further reading:

Employee organisation; Platform

Sweden

CoopCycle

NEW

 

CoopCycle is the European federation of bicycle delivery cooperatives. Democratically governed by cooperatives, it is based on solidarity between them and allows them to reduce their costs through resources pooling. It creates a collective bargaining force to protect bikers’ rights.

The CoopCyle web platform and software enables bike couriers, customers and restaurants to manage their own activities. Couriers can view their statistics and access the app, restaurants can manage one or more restaurants, and customers can place orders. The software is protected by a reciprocity license, which enforces its use by cooperatives only.

They also have the CoopCycle association, which is a group of volunteers that help bikers to gather and organise. The topics they are working on include:

· the creation of an anti-capitalist economic model based on the Commons

· the development of the CoopCycle software (UI/UX, dev, trainings, docs, aso.)

· political lobbying, juridical toolbox, global coordination.

Business association; Platform

France

CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon

NEW

 

The CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon was formed in spring 2019 from the CGT Committee of Precarious Workers, with the aim of federating the workers of the delivery platforms and collectively establishing their claims. The section aims to defend the rights of platform workers and to reach new ones. Numerous mobilisations have been organised since 2019, including several strikes against the drop in pay in March 2020, as well as a whole campaign of calls for stopping work and demanding compensation for delivery workers during the COVID-19. The section works in conjunction with other CGT organisations, including the numerous delivery workers’ unions.

In October 2020, the constitutive congress of the CGT Uber Eats/Deliveroo Lyon union was held, in the presence of representatives of the National Federation of CGT Transport Unions and of the CGT Transport Federation.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

France

SCVG Bordeaux and CGT

NEW

 

The CGT section Syndicat des Coursiers à vélo de la Gironde (SCVG) was created in summer 2017, with the aim of federating delivery platform couriers and collectively establishing claims. The union is linked to the other regional courier collectives.

SCG Bordeaux is one of the collectives having participated to the creation of the Transnational Couriers Federation in November 2018.

Employee organisation

France

SCALA Nantes and CGT

NEW

Loire-Atlantique Autonomous Couriers Union ( Syndicat des Coursiers Autonomes de Loire-Atlantique , SCALA) aims to federate delivery platform couriers and collectively establishing claims. It is linked to other regional courier collectives.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

France

SCCUD Dijon

NEW

 

The CGT union of the United Couriers of Dijon ( Syndicat CGT des Coursiers Unis Dijonnais, SCCUD) was created in August 2019, with the aim of federating delivery platform couriers and collectively establishing claims. The union is linked to the other regional courier collectives.

 

Employee organisation

France

FGTB - ABVV Platform

NEW

 

The initiative was launched to help the General Labour Federation of Belgium ( Fédération Générale du Travail de Belgique in French, FGTB; Algemeen Belgisch Vakverbond in Dutch, ABVV) better reach platform workers, inform them about their rights and duties and offer support, all in a completely online environment. The initiative consists of a website where platform workers can find information on their rights, get in touch and share experiences with each other, and contact the trade union for legal advice. The links to FGTB’s French and Dutch dedicated Facebook pages are provided as well, which allow platform workers to see relevant articles shared there by FGTB and get in touch with FGTB through the social network’s chat. Through this initiative, FGTB aims at organising and protecting platform workers, as well as increasing their visibility and getting to know their profile and needs, finding out what they expect from a trade union, and creating a platform workers’ network. FGTB has answered to hundreds of questions through the website and Facebook, since the launch of the initiative in January 2020.

Employee organisation

Belgium

GMB Union and Hermes

NEW

 

Hermes’ self-employed couriers are entitled to take holiday pay and have guaranteed earnings following a ground-breaking deal between the leading consumer delivery company and GMB Union. In early 2019, GMB (a union affiliated to the Trades Union Congress ) and the delivery company Hermes signed the first-ever collective bargaining agreement in the UK for self-employed couriers in the platform economy. The agreement aims to protect the rights of self-employed worker who provide courier services to Hermes. Hermes couriers have the option to become ‘self-employed plus’, which provides a number of benefits such as holiday pay (pro-rata up to 28 days), and individually negotiated pay rates that allow couriers to earn at least £8.55 (€9.49) per hour over the year. The agreement was achieved after 200 Hermes drivers took the platform to court and the employment tribunal recognised they were workers and not self-employed in summer 2018.

Employee organisation; Platform

United Kingdom

Mladi Plus

NEW

 

Mladi Plus is a Slovenian trade union committed to the rights of students, high school students, unemployed youth as well as self-employed authors and entrepreneurs. The aim of Mladi Plus is to connect young people, educate them about their rights when they start to work, offer them support in finding a job and help them solve the problems they face.

Cooperating with other Slovenian trade unions including the taxi drivers’ one, Mladi Plus was able to prevent Uber from entering the country, by arguing that law could not be changed in favour of one company. The recently entered food delivery platforms, such as Wolt, are recruiting young workers with special student work agreements and self-employed workers. Mladi Plus action against these platforms focuses on the recognition of couriers’ status as employed workers and on the demand that Slovenian laws are respected.

 

Employee organisation; Platform

Slovenia

NIdiL and CGIL

NEW

 

Italian General Confederation of Labour (Confederazione Generale Italiana del Lavoro, CGIL) launched its New job identities (Nuove Identità di Lavoro, NIdiL) section in 1998 to ensure representation and protection for atypical workers. Workers of the platform economy, including riders, are also members of NIdiL CGIL. The organisation is articulated on both national and territorial level.

During the COVID-19 crisis, NIdiL launched several campaigns in protection of platform workers. For example, in Piedmont, it supported a strike by Amazon workers who denounced the inacceptable working conditions imposed by the company during the emergency. At national level, NIdiL launched the #dimenticatidaconte action, denouncing the fact that measures taken by the Italian government were largely inadequate for riders. It also promoted a court case against Just Eat which led to the recognition of the right to safety and health for platform workers and which established the applicability of the employment relationship regulation to them. NIdiL CGIL has also been engaged in getting closer to self-organised movements of riders and the union has kept a forward-looking cooperation with the other two most representative Italian trade union confederations in putting forward a proposal for the better protection of this category of workers towards the Italian government.

Employee organisation

Italy

Sindacato-Networkers

NEW

 

Sindacato-Networkers is one of the first trade union platforms targeting ICT professionals and employees in the services sector and platform workers. Sindacato-Networkers offers a series of services including individual online advice on work-related problems, such as the help with fiscal matters. On the website, there is a separate section on the platform economy specially designed for riders. It offers legal assistance and assistance related to tax obligations, and above all trade union representation vis-à-vis the different platforms. Another section on labour rights includes a forum offering free counselling. In 2017, Sindacato-Networkers launched a permanent observatory. Through a detailed survey addressed at workers in the platform economy, the observatory collects data and information on platform work in Italy and drafts regular reports. During the COVID-19 crisis, Sindacato-Networkers supported riders through dedicated information and by denouncing situations where they were put at risk.

Employee organisation

Italy

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB)

NEW

 

The Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) represents mainly low paid migrant workers, such as outsourced cleaners and security guards, and platform workers. IWGB was founded in 2012, and its branches undertake campaigns for better pay and working conditions. IWGB has taken to court several platform operators on a range of employment matters.

On 23 March 2020, IWGB announced that the union would sue the government to denounce that statutory sick pay arrangements in the light of COVID-19 discriminate against workers from ethnic minorities, women and platform workers. The union pleas that the government’s 80% wage subsidies for employees further discriminate against platform workers. On the same day, the union launched a £20,000 (€22,261) crowd-funder to protect itself from potential legal costs.

On 21 October 2020, IWGB attended the High Court to bring a judicial review that could extend health and safety rights to all ‘workers’, including workers in the platform economy. Many of these workers, including Uber drivers and parcel couriers, were designated ‘key workers’ by the government during the first wave of COVID-19. Victory for the union would win them all a legal right to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and to take legal action against employers who dismiss them for refusing work in dangerous conditions.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

United Kingdom

UGT - Manifesto of Intentions - Car Rental Companies

NEW

In September 2018, the Workers General Union ( Unión General de Trabajadores , UGT) signed a manifesto of intentions with the employer organisation of car rental companies with drivers (VTC), including Cabify, a platform operating in Spain and in 10 other countries. Negotiations on the agreement were launched after drivers contacted UGT and informed it of their work situation. The agreement aimed at ensuring safe working conditions for all drivers and pushing all platforms, including Uber, to join. The agreement was proof of shared intentions, but it did not set any concrete actions. However, it provided the opportunity to start an ongoing dialogue. A collective agreement negotiation table was set up with the aim of regulating working conditions in the future.

Further reading:

Employee organisation; Business association

Spain

United Freelancers and ACV-CSC

NEW

 

The Confederation of Christian Trade Unions (Algemeen Christelijk Vakverbond in Dutch, Confédération des syndicats chrétiens in French, ACV-CSC) has been cooperating since the beginning of 2017 with the Collectif des couriers to negotiate with Deliveroo and Uber Eats in order to improve the working conditions of platform workers. It has especially covered:

- Organisation of various meetings with couriers to forge a union spirit, set-up and validate lists of demands, negotiation goals, organise protest actions, etc.

- Several negotiation meetings with Deliveroo, although no comprehensive agreement has been reached.

On this basis, in 2019, ACV-CSC set up United Freelancers , a dedicated team for support of platform workers and all new forms of employment. The United Freelancers website provides information and services as well as possibilities to affiliate to the CSC union.

Employee organisation

Belgium

YouTubers Union

The ‘Youtubers Union’ is an association of YouTubers and was founded in 2018. According to the association, over 16,000 YouTubers were part of it as of October 2018. The aim of the Youtubers union is to improve working conditions of video creators on YouTube. Core demands include monetisation for everyone (that is, even small YouTube channels should be able to earn money with their videos), more transparency on decisions impacting YouTubers, and equal treatment of all partners, regardless of their size. The association has partnered with IG Metall (the German Metalworkers' Union) in starting the campaign FairTube [See FairTube entry below]. Employee organisation EU28, Other

FairTube

FairTube is a campaign that demands fairness and transparency for people who create videos on YouTube (‘creators’). The FairTube campaign is a joint initiative of IG Metall (the German Metalworkers' Union) and the Youtubers Union. The campaign claims that YouTube has made it difficult for smaller content creators to earn money on the platform, while at the same time favouring channels by larger creators such as corporations, celebrities or media companies. FairTube demands from YouTube to (1) publish all categories and decision criteria that affect monetisation and views of videos, (2) give clear explanations for individual decisions, (3) give YouTubers a human contact person who is qualified and authorised to explain decisions that have negative consequences for YouTubers (and fix them if they are mistaken), (4) let YouTubers contest decisions that have negative consequences, (5) create an independent mediation board for resolving disputes (here the Ombuds Office of the Crowdsourcing Code of Conduct can offer relevant lessons), and (6) establish a formal participation of YouTubers in important decisions. In August 2019, the initiators of the campaign and Google, YouTube’s parent company, have entered negotiations.

In March 2020, the YouTubers Union has re-established discussions with YouTube. They elaborated their proposals for improved communication, fairness, and transparency into a detailed list of concrete, practical suggestions, and received positive feedback from YouTube.

Employee organisation, Platform EU28, Other
Collective agreement for bicycle couriers in Austria Social partners in Austria have agreed on the first collective agreement for bicycle couriers. The new collective agreement applies to all bicycle couriers, that is, both those who have an employment contract with a traditional company and those who have an employment contract with a platform. From 2020, they will receive a monthly gross wage of €1,506 and additional holiday and Christmas remunerations. The collective agreement contains a 40-hour week and the option to work only four days a week. When couriers use their own bicycle and equipment, they will receive an additional compensation of 0.14€ per kilometre. According to unions, there are several thousands bicycle couriers in Austria. Their employment status is unclear however: not all of them have an employment contract but might work as independent contractors, which would not make them eligible for the conditions under the collective agreement. Employee organisation Austria
General Confederation of Labour (Confédération générale du travailCGT)

General Confederation of Labour (Confédération générale du travail, CGT), encourages the creation of local unions with the aim to defend platform workers’ interests. The CGT focused its 2016 annual congress on the unionisation of self-employed platform workers. Also, in the south-west region of Gironde (Bordeaux), the bike courier CGT union has been instituted which represents around 700 food delivery riders for various platforms such as Foodora, Deliveroo and UberEats.

Employee organisation

France

Liefern am Limit

Liefern am Limit is an initiative that represents platform workers in the food delivery industry. It was founded in early 2018 and is the first works council that Deliveroo workers had created in Cologne, Germany. Interest in the initiative was great and many Deliveroo workers, but also workers from other platforms such as Foodora, used it to make the public aware of their concerns and working conditions. At the same time, the contact with the German Food, Beverages and Catering Union (Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten, NGG) was deepened. Since November 2018, Liefern am Limit is an official partner of NGG to address working conditions in the food delivery industry.The organisation also supports other platform workers in the food delivery industry in Germany and organises regular networking and information events. With the support of Liefern am Limit, works councils of Foodora were established in Cologne, Hamburg (together with Kiel and Bremen), Frankfurt (together with Offenbach), Nuremberg and Stuttgart. The aim is to establish further committees and thus make the concerns of the employees heard by platforms and society. Liefern am Limit also functions as mouthpiece of food delivery workers to the public, to NGOs, into the existing trade union structures of the NGG, and into politics. Concerns of the workforce were for example raised to the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. Employee organisation, Worker Germany

Collective agreement 3F and Hilfr

In April 2018, the Danish trade union 3F and platform for cleaning services Hilfr signed the first collective agreement on platform work in Denmark. The agreement entered into force on 1 August 2018 and covers the so-called ‘Super Hilfrs’ (employee status). Workers are paid at least DKR 141.2 per hour (€19) and an additional DKR 20 (€2.70) as ‘welfare supplement’. The latter must be set aside by the worker for sickness, retirement, holidays and similar. Furthermore, the agreement specifies there will be an information exchange between the platform and tax authorities.

Further reading:

An assessment of the agreement of early 2020 finds a high level of work satisfaction among Super Hilfrs, including earnings and the security provided by the agreement. From the platform’s perspective, the agreement has improved its visibility and branding as a socially responsible actor.

In 2020, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) assessed that the minimum hourly fee constitutes a concerted practice for the services mediated through Hilfr which might limit the competition. As a result, Hilfr offered to remove the minimum hourly fee for their so-called Freelance Hilfrs (not covered by the collective agreement) and committed to consider the so-called Super Hilfrs as employees in relation to competition law by ensuring a legal subordination relationship and bearing the financial risk of the cleaning work.

Further reading:

Employee organisation

Denmark

Collectif des Courier-e-s (Couriers Collective)

The Couriers Collective originates in Belgium in 2016 and organises bike couriers of several food delivery platforms, such as UberEats, Deliveroo and TakeAway. It is supported by the National Union of Employees (Centrale Nationale des Employés, CNE) and the Transport and Communications (Transcom) division of the General Christian Trade Union (Algemene Christelijke Vakbond, ACV). The Collective aims to negotiate better working conditions for the riders. To that end, it has organised several strikes. Furthermore, it organises meetings, liaises with other initiatives across Europe and has set up a ‘strike bank’ to collect money to support striking workers.

Further reading: Riders organising in Brussels

Worker, Employee organisation

Belgium

Deliver Union Campaign, FAU Berlin

The Deliver Union is a group of Foodora and Deliveroo bicycle couriers which started organising themselves in 2016 within the FAU Berlin (Freie Arbeiterinnen- und Arbeiter-Union, Free Workers’ Union). The Deliver Union aims to negotiate better working conditions for workers of the food delivery companies. Demands include:

  • To have all repair costs covered by Deliveroo and Foodora;
  • A pay increase of €1 per hour, per employee, and an additional €1 for freelancers;
  • An immediate freeze on recruitment to guarantee enough hours for existing riders to make a living;
  • Specifically for Deliveroo: Transparency toward workers on the number of hours they have worked, which they currently cannot assess although they are tracked;
  • Specifically for Foodora: Payment of the equivalent of one hour’s work to compensate for work-related tasks undertaken in spare time.

The Deliver Union organises meetings, strikes, signature campaigns and events in Berlin and keeps a Facebook page.

Worker, Employee organisation

Germany

France: Law 2016-1088

Law 2016-1088 of 9 August 2016 provides a legal definition of ‘electronic platforms’ and extends individual and collective rights to platform workers. Collective rights include workers’ right to create or join a union and to organise or participate in a strike and these may not be grounds for the client or platform to sever the contractual relationship. Since January 2018, for those workers who have generated over €5,099 of sales revenue, platforms must bear the costs of the workers’ occupational accident insurance coverage and must cover the costs of ‘the validation of academic credit due to work experience’, meaning to obtain professional certification for the work experience they have gained.

Government

France

GoOpti worker protest

In 2014 in Slovenia, drivers affiliated with GoOpti, a platform matching demand and supply for transport, posted leaflets on vans to protest against working conditions. Together with the trade union ZSSS ( Zveza svobodnih sindikatov Slovenije, Association of Free Trade Unions of Slovenia) they reported violations of drivers’ rights to the labour inspectorate which sanctioned the platform on the ground of misclassification of the employment status (self-employed rather than employees). As a result, in 2015 the platform adopted a new business model. Since then, they subcontract the tasks to transport companies rather than themselves employing drivers.

Worker, Employee organisation

Slovenia

Riders x Derechos (Riders for Rights)

In Spain, food delivery riders, notably those affiliated to Deliveroo, founded a Facebook group ‘Riders x Derechos’ (Riders for Rights), to negotiate better working conditions with the respective platforms, including a change of the employment status from self-employed to employee. They have also set up the ‘National Association of Bike Courier Services’ (‘Asociación Nacional de Ciclomensajería’), which tries to support and offer useful information for delivery riders in regards to taxation and accident insurance.

In 2018, the group joined forces with Intersindical Alternativa de Catalunya (AIC) to demand changes to the conditions of ‘false self-employed’ workers from the Labour Inspectorate. The group received new attention on the news when in early 2019 a worker of Glovo, a delivery platform, died in a bike accident. Riders x Derechos and other Glovo workers claim that Glovo is not making enough efforts to guarantee the safety of its workers.

Worker

Spain

Riders’ Union Bologna, Deliverance Project , Strike Raiders

In Italy, the Riders’ Union Bologna, Deliverance Project and Strike Raiders are active in several cities. They organise workers of Deliveroo, Glovo and others to negotiate better working conditions. For example, in July 2018, riders for Glovo blocked the entrance to a fast food restaurant to protest the low pay and to be able to hand in a list of demands to the company. Furthermore, in August 2018, these organisations were invited to participate in the 2nd national round table discussion convened by the Minister of Labour and Economic Development, for which they presented a letter with requested improvements of working conditions as well as arguing for legislative intervention and reforms that would provide better protections for food delivery riders.

Worker

Italy

Riders’ Union Netherlands

In the Netherlands, food delivery riders affiliated to the food delivery platform Deliveroo set up a Facebook group and tried to mobilise riders of similar platforms (Foodora, Uber Eats, Thuisbezorgd). Among their main activities are protest marches organised during late 2017 against riders’ forced self-employment as per February 2018, as well as two strikes in January 2018, in which the Riders’ Union has been supported by the Dutch trade union FNV. In 2019, the Riders’ Union was successful in a legal dispute with Deliveroo, requiring Deliveroo to offer employment contracts to its workers. Deliveroo has still the option to appeal against this decision (further information here). 

Worker, Employee organisation

Netherlands

Si-Cobas (Sindacato Intercategoriale Cobas Lavoratori Autorganizzati, Inter-sectoral self-organised workers’ union)

In March 2016 in Turin, Italy, food delivery riders of Foodora started to self-organise after learning that colleagues in Milan made higher wages. They gained the support of the rank-and-file independent union Si-Cobas which is active in the logistics sector. The union represented the workers in consequent negotiations with the platform company, however, although Foodora has made some concessions, for example in increasing the per piece delivery fee, the more substantial demands were unmet.

Further reading: Mobilisation of riders in Italy

Worker, Employee organisation

Italy

SMart (société mutuelle pour artistes)

SMart is a member-owned cooperative for freelancers (which may include platform workers) active in nine EU countries. Membership is based on a fee which is invested in unemployment insurance and social security contributions for its members. Members can decide to arrange the payment of invoices through SMart, which guarantees payment within seven days. Also, members can choose to be paid directly for each completed project, or may decide together with a SMart advisor on the basis of their average annual earnings, to be paid in monthly instalments, so as to decrease the income uncertainty associated with self-employment. For a short period in 2016, SMart represented all Deliveroo riders in Belgium, however, since then Deliveroo has terminated the agreement.

As of 2019, the initiative is continuing is engagement for cooperativism in the platform economy, for example through a project financed by the Brussels region with the aim to make recommendations to create a sustainable ecosystem for cooperative platforms. A final conference will be organised on 17 October 2019.

Other

Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Sweden

Uber London Drivers Network

London Uber drivers formed a collective and online social media presence, the ‘Uber London Drivers Network’, which supported several drivers in their court case against Uber contesting their employment status. The Uber London Drivers Network is part of the larger trade body for private car hire, United Private Hire Drivers (UPHD). UPHD is a not-for-profit company describing itself as a driver-run trade organisation which exists exclusively for private hire drivers.

Worker

United Kingdom

Works Council Foodora Austria

In March 2017, Foodora bike couriers elected a works council in Vienna, which aims to negotiate an agreement with the Foodora management concerning better working conditions, particularly during the winter period. Demands include a guarantee of the mileage allowance (10 to 15% of overall pay), insurance for bicycles and the smartphones in case of damage or theft. Furthermore, the works council will negotiate for more transparency in tracking of its couriers and its implementation of disciplinary measures.

Worker

Austria

Works Council Deliveroo Cologne, Germany

In November 2017, Deliveroo riders in Cologne indicated that they wanted to found a works council. Deliveroo’s management initially refused. However, with support of the the German Food, Beverages and Catering Union (Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten, NGG), Deliveroo riders elected their first works council in Cologne on 16 February 2018. Deliveroo announced it is letting its fix-term contracts expire and will hire only self-employed freelancers, which led to a legal dispute for which no agreement has been reached. In a court ruling in December 2018 it was found that the provision of a fixed-term contract to one of the council members was not lawful (further information here). 

Worker, Employee organisation

Germany

Works Council Foodora Cologne; Foodora Hamburg

In 2017, Foodora riders, supported by the German Food, Beverages and Catering Union (Gewerkschaft Nahrung-Genuss-Gaststätten, NGG) elected a works council in Cologne. Following, on 1 June 2018, Foodora riders founded a second works council in Hamburg. Furthermore, the riders have fought Foodora’s parent company Delivery Hero for the right to instate a company-wide works council across all locations in Germany. A court in Berlin has ordered Delivery Hero to install employees on its advisory board, as German law mandates that companies employing 2,000 people and over must have equal numbers of shareholders and employees on its supervisory board. However, it appears that Delivery Hero may still avoid this German rule by converting its legal business form to an SE (Societas Europaea) and merging with its Dutch branch.

Worker, Employee organisation

Germany

SCP-VTC (Syndicat des Chauffeurs Privés - véhicule de tourisme avec chauffeur)

Since 16 October 2015, France has a private drivers' union (Syndicat des Chauffeurs Privés- véhicule de tourisme avec chauffeur, SCP-VTC), affiliated with the National Union of Autonomous Trade Unions (Union Nationale des Syndicats Autonomes, UNSA). The union composes many ex-Uber drivers who became dissatisfied when Uber lowered the price of rides by 20% in Paris in 2015. SCP-VTC intends to participate in negotiations with employer organisations and the public authorities. The new union was officially recognised by the Mayor of Paris.

Employee organisation

France

Transnational Federation of Couriers

In October 2018, the Transnational Federation of Couriers was founded, representing platform workers across Europe. Its aim is to improve the working conditions of workers in the platform economy. Interviews with workers that attended the meeting can be found here .

Workers

France, Italy, Finland, Spain, United Kingdom, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium

Coursiers Bordelais

Coursiers Bordelais is a cooperative enterprise of workers in the French transport sector. Each cooperator has a voice in decision-making, regardless of his or her share in the capital. It resembles a platform on which requesters can order local deliveries on bikes. The cooperative claims to refuse the exploitation of workers, while at the same time providing fast services for its customers and being profitable.  Worker France

Asoriders

Asoriders is a non-profit association, formed by platform workers in Spain, and has the goal to support other platform workers in issues related to economic, contractual and legal challenges. This support is done through agreements with suppliers and platforms. The association has reached a Professional Interest Agreement (AIP) with the food delivery platform Deliveroo in 2018, which includes increased coverage in accident insurance, a discount on the purchase of work related materials, preferential access to the booking of distribution sessions after a period of inactivity, access to training courses provided by third parties, and the right for compensation for termination of the contract without just cause. Worker Spain

turespuestasindical.es

The initiative was created by the Spanish trade union Unión General de Trabajadores (UGT), with the aim to support workers in the platform economy. They aim to get more platform workers in standard employment contracts, as they state that 'autonomous' work relationships are highly risky for the employee in terms of social security and health insurance. Worker Spain

 

Type: Taxation

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

Sharing Economy Committee

NEW

In 2016, the Norwegian government appointed the Sharing Economy Committee. Since then, the Committee suggested several measures to ensure and simplify taxation of platform work and an online portal on rights and duties for platforms, workers and clients. Government Norway

Agreement between the City of Vienna and HomeAway on the transfer of the city tax

The City of Vienna and the accommodation platform HomeAway entered an agreement according to which the platform collects the city tax and transfers it to the city treasuries. Furthermore, each quarter, the platform provides anonymised information (such as the number of accommodations and landlords) to the city. The agreement will be in place until the end of 2019 and then evaluated.

Government, Platform

Austria

Belgie programmawet 2016021055

On 1 July 2016 the Belgian government introduced a favourable tax regime at national level to create a more positive environment for new forms of work. As of 1 January 2018, income of up to €6,000 per annum generated through registered platforms is tax free (compared to 33% for other forms of income).

As of 2019, 68 platforms have registered with the scheme, including well-known platforms such as Deliveroo and Uber Eats.

The Constitutional Court overturned this tax regime as contrary to the principles of equality and non-discrimination. The act will be abolished after the end of 2020.

Government

Belgium

Collective agreement 3F and Hilfr

In April 2018, the Danish trade union 3F and platform for cleaning services Hilfr signed the first collective agreement on platform work in Denmark. The agreement entered into force on 1 August 2018 and covers the so-called ‘Super Hilfrs’ (employee status). Workers are paid at least DKR 141.2 per hour (€19) and an additional DKR 20 (€2.70) as ‘welfare supplement’. The latter must be set aside by the worker for sickness, retirement, holidays and similar. Furthermore, the agreement specifies there will be an information exchange between the platform and tax authorities.

Further reading:

An assessment of the agreement of early 2020 finds a high level of work satisfaction among Super Hilfrs, including earnings and the security provided by the agreement. From the platform’s perspective, the agreement has improved its visibility and branding as socially responsible actor.

In 2020, the Danish Competition Council (DCC) assessed that the minimum hourly fee constitutes a concerted practice for the services mediated through Hilfr which might limit the competition. As a result, Hilfr offered to remove the minimum hourly fee for their so-called Freelance Hilfrs (not covered by the collective agreement) and committed to consider the so-called Super Hilfrs as employees in relation to competition law by ensuring a legal subordination relationship and bearing the financial risk of the cleaning work.

Further reading:

Employee organisation, Platform

Denmark

Danish Government Sharing Economy Strategy

The Danish government has set out 22 proposals concerning taxation in the sharing economy and to a smaller extent, regulating working conditions as well as offering more clarity on rules and responsibilities for workers, clients and platforms operating in the sharing economy. The government aims to set up an online portal through which sharing economy platforms can access specific information provided by the authorities. Also, online reporting of revenue will be made possible and the government will lower taxes on income generated through providing accommodation or transportation through platforms. Further, the government aims to take measures against grey areas existing in legislation and will provide information to unemployment insurance funds and job centres on the rules for unemployment benefits in relation to persons’ activities in the sharing economy.

Government

Denmark

Estonia Tax and Customs

In 2015, the Estonian Tax and Customs Board approached Uber to establish an automatic earnings declaration system for drivers. Drivers can opt-in to share their driving-related earnings directly with the tax office, automatically adding this to their tax return. Further, in 2018, Estonia introduced the Simplified Business Income Taxation Act which simplifies tax duties for part-time self-employed. While it does not explicitly address platform work, it does include platform economy services like transport, accommodation and food delivery. For individuals, income of up to €25,000 per year for services provided to natural persons are taxed at a 20% rate which includes both income and social taxes (compared to the regular tax rate of about 50%).

Government

Estonia

Italy: Decree 20/2017

From 1 May 2017, Italy implemented a new law regulating short-term accommodation rental (relevant for platforms), popularly called the ‘Airbnb tax’. The new law obliges platforms to withhold 21% of the gross amount charged by the landlord by way of a flat-rate tax, rather than at the usual income tax rate which can range between 23% and 43%. This law applies to all accommodation rentals that are rented out for a short time, meaning fewer than 30 days in a calendar year.

Government

Italy

French Law n ° 2018-898 of 23 October 2018

France has adopted its tax code to introduce specific reporting requirements for platforms. Platforms must provide clear and transparent information on tax obligations to their users and provide an electronic link to the website of the tax office to enable users to comply. They are also obliged to provide on an annual basis information to both users and the tax authorities on the transactions that took place in that year.

Government

France

Type: Training

Name

Short description

Involved actors (type)

Country

Pinploy

NEW

Pinploy, which mediates handyman services, provides workers with educational documentation related to performance of tasks and guidelines on conduct (improvement of relationship with clients for example). A chatbot as well as live support assists workers in navigating the platform and in performing tasks. The platform also facilitates exchange among workers on ‘what works and what does not’ as regards their platform work. Platform Denmark

Agreement to collaborate between FNV and Temper

In 2018 in the Netherlands, the platform Temper, which matches demand and supply for staff in hotels, restaurants and cafés, approached the hospitality division of the largest Dutch union FNV (Federation National Unions, FNV-Horeca). This division of FNV and the platform have signed a ‘cooperation pact’ as a pilot scheme that will last one year to provide (legally self-employed) Temper workers with training, pensions and insurance. The cooperation between Temper and FNV-Horeca was broadened later in 2018 after a positive experience in the first months, adding further elements such as the removal of a software fee that Temper workers had to pay, and improved training offerings (more information available in Dutch).

Further reading: Collaboration agreement Dutch union and platform

Employee organisation, Platform

Netherlands

Frizbiz

Frizbiz is a platform for on-location moderately skilled tasks, which matches workers with clients to fulfil tasks like babysitting and household repairs. Through Frizbiz, some workers participate in training programmes that are organised cooperatively with Leroy Merlin, a home improvement and gardening retailer. The training is free of charge and is provided either through online webinars, often containing with PowerPoint slides and a Q&A session at the end, or at an in-person training session at the retailer company.

Platform

France

Happy Helper

The Danish platform Happy Helper which intermediates cleaning services trains its workers in cleaning methods. Furthermore, it provides workers with skills in how to use the Happy Helper platform and app and gives advice on how to conduct interpersonal communication with clients.

Platform

Denmark

Riders’ municipal information counter

On 18 July 2018, the municipal administration of Milan inaugurated the first office in Italy dedicated to ‘listening, information and advice’ for workers of food delivery platforms. The office will also offer free training courses on road safety, safety at work and basic sanitary rules for food transport.

Government

Italy

Uber advice and training

In 2017, Uber announced it would introduce ‘Earnings advice sessions’ where drivers would be able to get advice from the platform and from other drivers on how to maximise time and earnings through driving. This was particularly targeted at drivers making less than the hourly average, who would receive invitations to join.

Also in 2017, Uber cooperated with the online education platform Futurelearn to provide drivers who had completed more than 500 trips with Uber the option to complete a free course, for which Uber would pay the Certificate of Achievement. Additionally, for 12 months Uber offers drivers free access to the English language learning app, Busuu, to improve English language skills.

In the UK, Uber drivers and couriers can access online courses for free with OpenClassroom , which is an online training platform, ranging from management to business development and professional leadership.

In France, Uber has an ongoing programme called Campus VTC to offer partner drivers skills improvement opportunities including language training (through Uber’s partnership with Babbel , an online language training plaftform) or courses on accounting, job application, time management, presentation skills etc..

In the United States, Uber has a partnership with the Arizona State University (ASU), through which drivers earn credit which can lead to an online undergraduate degree or certificates in entrepreneurship or English language, either for themselves or for a member of their family.

Platform

United Kingdom

 

 

 

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