EU Science Hub

New evidence on platform workers in Europe


Digital labour platforms are a new form of coordinating the provision of labour services enabled by the latest technological revolution. Many authors claim that digital labour platforms have the potential to disrupt the world of work, both positively by boosting participation in the labour market through better matching procedures, and negatively by circumventing regulation and lowering the quality of employment. To assess the impact of digital labour platforms on employment and on working conditions, we need precise estimates of the number of people doing platform work; in addition we need information on what type of services they provide, how frequently these services are provided, how much money is earned as a result of this provision and so on. At the same time, when we talk about the impact of digital labour platforms on working conditions, it is imperative to understand whether platform work is just a side gig as it is often claimed, or whether it represents a major source of income and for whom. Thus, we need to ascertain the regularity, time allocated and income generated from platform work, as well as the employment status of platform workers, since this will provide information as to whether they have other forms of social protection from other jobs. In 2017, the JRC conducted the COLLEEM pilot survey, an initial attempt to provide quantitative evidence on platform work. This report builds on previous findings and contributes by describing the results of the second wave of COLLEEM (2018).