Platform work and the Danish model – legal perspectives

Labour  law  and  services  provided  via  onlineplatforms  or  digital apps, platform  work,  appear  to be  an  ill-matched couple as the business model  of  the  platforms  often  relies  on  the  worker  not  being  an employee,  whereas  labour  law  categorises  persons  performing  work  as either  self-employed  or  employees,  depending  on  the  circumstances  of the  relationship.  Recent  European  and  national  caselaw  concerning Uber  illustratethat  the  classification  of  platform  work  is  complicated. This article examines platform work in the light of the Danish model of providing a legal basis for decent pay and working conditions by way of collective  bargaining.  Collective  agreements  are  a  prerequisite  for  the Danish  model  to  be  extended  to  persons  providing  services  via  digital platforms.  Platform  businesses  operate  in  an  uncertain  realm  where  the use of collective agreements could be questionable from a labour law as well  as  from  a  competition  law  perspective.  The  article  takes  a  closer look  at  such  legal  perspectives  by  drawing  out  principles  from  national case law as well as case law of the European Court of Justice. The article further discusses a trial-agreement concluded between a trade union and a  platform  business  in  Denmark.  The  article  concludes  that  collective agreements  would  be  in  line  with  the  Danish  model  as  well  as  with competition law, as long as the circumstances of each contract of service are characteristic of employment and as long as the service providers are not genuinely self-employed. The article contributes to the discourse on collective  agreements  as  a  means  to  ensure  decent  pay  and  working conditions   as   well   as   societal   values   and   protections   for   persons providing  services  in  the  form  of  labour  via  online  websites  and  digital apps

Munkholm, N. V., and Schjøler, C. H. (2018), Platform work and the Danish model: Legal perspectives, Nordic Journal of Commercial Law, 2018(1).


  • Article
  • Denmark
  • Yes
  • representation, industrial relations, social dialogue
  • English
  • Nordic Journal of Commercial Law (Publisher)
  • 2018
  • Open access
Disclaimer  —  Eurofound aims to keep the information in this database up to date and accurate. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. However, Eurofound bears no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the accuracy or content of this database or of external links over which Eurofound services have no control and for which Eurofound assumes no responsibility.