How can we improve working conditions for
people working on digital platforms? The EC intends to clarify this issue
through the first stage of a six-week public consultation with their social partners, which was
launched on 24.02.2021. The purpose of the consultation is to identify the need
for an EU legislative initiative and its focus.
The background to the consultation is the
dynamic growth of work on digital platforms throughout the EU. The platform
economy is also spreading into more and more sectors of the economy and it has
become an integral part of our daily lives. The digitisation of work and
business models of platforms in the EU single market received a further boost
during the coronavirus pandemic. The EC also sees its need for action as being
justified by the cross-border nature of platform work and algorithmic
On the one hand, platform work offers many
opportunities to create employment and is characterised by increased
flexibility. Workers get opportunities for additional income or easier entry
into employment. But there are also downsides to it: some forms of platform
work are creating precarious working conditions.
Causes of poor working conditions
There are many reasons for poor working
conditions, including a lack of transparency and reliability in contractual
terms, health and safety risks, a lack of social protection and access to
social security systems.
The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has
exposed the vulnerability of workers who work on digital platforms. They are
exposed to many health risks, but often have no or only limited social security
and frequently have no entitlement to social benefits in contrast to
traditional employment relationships.
German Social Insurance will participate in
the consultations and take a position.
The EC has also announced its intention to
identify the content for a legislative initiative in the proposed second stage
of the consultations. Finally, a specific legislative proposal is to be
presented by the end of 2021.