New evidence from the 2021 ETUI Internet and Platform Work Survey
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The pandemic seems to have accelerated the expansion of all kinds of platform work and at the same time, platform work is being increasingly associated with difficult working conditions, health and safety risks, and inadequate levels of income for those that rely on it as a source of living. Improving the conditions of platform workers became a topic of great interest in the EU, especially so in the context of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The political process culminated in December 2021 with a proposal by the European Commission of a directive on improving working conditions in platform work. The initiatives to improve the situation of platform workers came in the context of a large body of evidence on the working conditions in platform work. However, there is still a lack of representative comparative evidence on the extent of platform work and the characteristic of workers who engage in it.

Back in 2018, the ETUI launched the first wave of its Internet and Platform Work Survey which avoided the methodological problems that come from the reliance on self-selected online samples of inconsistent quality. At this hybrid event, some of the key insights from the second wave of this survey conducted in fourteen EU countries in Spring 2021, will be presented and discussed with other researchers involved in measuring of the platform economy. The second session will focus on the implications of the expansion of the platform economy and its modes of organising work and employment for the future of work more broadly. And last but not least, European policy makers as well as trade union representatives will share their assessment on the recent developments related to the Directive on improving working conditions in platform work, and will enter in debate with each other, as well as with the audience.


10:00 - 10:15 Opening of the conference

10:15 – 11:15 Session 1: What do data tell us? Key findings from the ETUI Internet and Platform Survey

Chair: Nicola Countouris, ETUI

Input by Agnieszka Piasna, Jan Drahokoupil and Wouter Zwysen, ETUI Download here the presentation

With comments from Sara Baiocco, European Commission Joint Research Centre and Otto Kässi, Oxford Internet Institute

11:15-11:45 Coffee break

11:45 – 13:00 Session 2: The platform economy and the future of work

Chair: Sotiria Theodoropoulou, ETUI

Antonio Aloisi, IE Law School, IE University, Madrid Download here the presentation

Aude Cefaliello, ETUI Download here the presentation

Martin Gruber-Risak, University of Vienna Download here the presentation

Silvia Rainone, ETUI Download here the presentation

Valeria Pulignano, Centre for Sociological Research, KUL  

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00- 15:00 Session 3: Will the EU end the free ride? The state of the art of the Directive on improving working conditions in platform work

Chair: Philippe Pochet, ETUI

Ludovic Voet, ETUC Confederal Secretary

Leila Chaibi, MEP The Left group in the European Parliament 

Manuela Geleng, Director for Jobs and Skills in DG Employment, Social Affairs and InclusionEuropean Commission

15:00 - 15:15 Closing of the conference

EN-FR interpretation will be available. 


Additional reading

Does it pay to work? Unpaid labour in the platform economy, 2021

Counting gigs. How can we measure the scale of online platform work?, 2020

Using GDPR to improve legal clarity and working conditions on digital labour platforms, 2020

Rethinking labour law in the digitalisation era, 2020

The digital services act package. Reflection on the EU Commission's policy options, 2020

Unwilful ignorance: attitudes to trade unions among Deliveroo riders in Belgium, 2019

The platform economy and social law: Key issues in comparative perspective, 2019

Digital labour in central and eastern Europe. Evidence from the ETUI Internet and Platform Work Survey, 2019

Work in the platform economy: Deliveroo riders in Belgium and the SMart arrangement, 2019

‘Algorithm breakers’ are not a different ‘species’: attitudes towards trade unions of Deliveroo riders in Belgium, 2019

The concept of ‘worker’ in EU law: status quo and potential for change, 2018

Transfer: The digital economy and its implications for labour. 1. The platform economy, 2017