Working conditions and sustainable work

Eurofound Talks - Platform work

Platform work is on the rise across Europe, bringing new pressures to bear on working conditions and labour markets and putting a spotlight on the wide-ranging individual risks. Who are these workers, what do they do and how can we ensure they are protected while we grow this agile new form of employment at a time of such wide-scale economic disruption?

This is the focus of the latest episode of Eurofound Talks which has just been published, in advance of a webinar on this same topic to take place this week.

Platform work uses an online platform to enable organisations or individuals to access other organisations or individuals to solve specific problems or to provide specific services in exchange for payment. It is work based on the performance of individual tasks, projects or gigs rather than a continuous employment relationship. A larger task is usually divided up into smaller subtasks, or ‘micro tasks’, that are independent, homogenous and produce a specific output. These tasks are carried out separately, resulting in a widespread, even global, division of tasks.

In Europe, people are generally most familiar with food delivery platforms such as Deliveroo, and ride sharing platforms such as Uber. However, there is a diverse range of services organised through online platforms with the number of people having performed tasks in the platform economy estimated to be between 17 and 30 million.

In the episode Eurofound's Head of Unit for Information and Communication Mary McCaughey speaks with researcher Dragoș Adăscăliței about how platform work has developed over the past two decades, the profile of platform workers in Europe, how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the development of platform work, the opportunities and risks platform work presents for workers, and how to protect platform workers while preserving the opportunities and benefits that are generated by the platform economy.

Listen to the episode below or view the entire series on our dedicated webpage.

Sign up for our webinar

Eurofound is organising a #EurofoundLIVE webinar debate this Wednesday on the need to regulate platform work. Join Ignacio Doreste, Senior Advisor at the European Trade Union Confederation, Isaline Ossieur, Junior Adviser at BusinessEurope, Professor Vili Lehdonvirta from the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, and researcher Dragoș Adăscăliței from Eurofound in a debate to get to the core of the issues around the regulation of platform work. Sign up here.

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