EU regulation: Improving the working conditions of platform workers

ESG
20/06/2022 Interview
profile picture of Arianna Podestà

Arianna Podestà

European Commission - Commission Européenne

European Commission Coordinating Spokesperson for Economic Affairs

Arianna Podestà, European Commission Coordinating Spokesperson for Economic Affairs, tells us more about the Commission's proposals to improve conditions for self-employed workers in the platform economy.

Deliveroo, Uber ... these companies are upsetting the competition with their different economic model and creating real social problems, but despite many lawsuits, they are still there. Is the platform economy here to stay?

The digital platform economy is growing quickly. Digital labor platforms create opportunities for businesses, workers and self-employed, as well as improved access to services for consumers. 

A couple of figures: there are more than 500 digital labor platforms active in the EU. They include international companies as well as small national or local start-ups. Today, over 28 million people in the EU work through digital labor platforms. In 2025, their number is expected to reach 43 million people. Between 2016 and 2020, the revenues in the platform economy grew almost five-fold from an estimated €3 billion to around €14 billion. 

At the same time, new ways of work also come with new challenges. It becomes increasingly difficult to correctly classify the employment status of people, leading in some cases to people missing out on the labor rights and social protection they should be eligible for. In addition, the use of algorithms in platform work can raise questions of accountability and transparency. Platform companies also stand to benefit from new rules: today, digital labor platforms are faced with a patchwork of different laws and rulings across the EU, which makes it difficult for them to expand their business across borders.

This is why the Commission proposes a set of measures to improve the working conditions in platform work, to promote transparency, fairness and accountability in algorithmic management, and to support the sustainable growth of digital labor platforms in the EU.

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