Topic was focus of ISSA World Forum.

Dr. Sch.-W. – 10/2019

The effects of working via digital platforms on working conditions and social protection was a focus of this year’s International Social Security Association (ISSA) World Forum on 14-18 October in Brussels. Three reports were presented.

The first of these worth mentioning is a study by Alexandre Defossez, consultant with the Belgian National Employment Office (ONEM). The study focuses on the challenges facing unemployment insurance and what is happening in four specific countries. The study concludes that social security has not yet adapted to new forms of work and stresses the need for reform. The study can be downloaded here.

Another report was prepared by Javier Albar from the Spanish General Social Security Treasury. He draws on nine different countries to present specific regulatory initiatives or national legal frameworks with regard to employment relationships, in particular the role of labour law. His conclusions address contribution collection, technical enforcement of contribution requirements and the specific role of platform operators with regard to these. Albar concludes that social security systems should guarantee platform workers a minimum level of protection in line with that offered other workers and regardless of their legal status. The report can be viewed here.

The most detailed and carefully researched study by far was conducted by Dr. Christoph Freudenberg of the German Federal Pension Insurance. As part of an international analysis of the dimension of the platform work economy, the author examined various issues including the role played by the income earned by a worker through platform work; namely, is this their main income or extra income? A comparative analysis of labour and social security laws is followed by a comparison of legal and effective coverage in statutory pension schemes. An overview of possible good practices, especially given the cross-country nature of platform work, rounds off the study. The report can be read here.