Online platforms operate under an unclear legal framework, which is subject to minimum standards established at the national level. Existing national laws and regulations are in need of revision and update. The source of defining platform companies can be linked to different legal domains, such as competition law, corporate income tax and/or labour relationship between the platform and the worker. However, only a few European countries have made an attempt to introduce a regulatory framework for online platforms, addressing specific needs of the provision of services or relating to the working conditions of people working though platforms.
The following map shows in which countries official definitions exist at the national level.
Recognition of platform workers as employees.
In most cases, platform workers are misclassified as self-employed persons or as freelancers. This leads to a number of negative consequences with no or a limited access to social protection as well as the precarisation of working conditions in the long run.
The following map shows in which countries platform workers are already recognised as employees at the national level.
Specific regulations for protection of platform workers.
In some countries, in the attempt to recognise obligations that platforms have toward workers who use vehicles to perform their work through platforms, newly adopted legislation has introduced definitions of platforms and their activities that fall within the regulatory framework of traditional labour relations.
The following map shows in which countries specific regulations for protection of platform workers already exist.
Existence of national register for platform companies.
The lack of national registries represents a major challenge in evidence-informed policy-making, as little is known about the number of platform companies, their turnover as well as the number of people being employed through these platforms. Furthermore, national authorities in most EU Member States such as labour inspectorates, social protection institutions and tax authorities are often not aware of the heterogeneity of online platforms’ business models.
The following map shows in which countries official registers of platform companies already exist at the national level.
Collective agreements at sectoral, regional or company level.
Collective bargaining agreements remain one of the most important instruments to improve the working conditions of platform workers and to counteract fraudulent and untransparent practices of platform companies. Even if in the majority of countries, the collective actions of platform workers are still limited, platform workers in the transport and food delivery sectors are the best organised and represented. Particularly in such countries like Belgium, France, Denmark, Spain, Italy or Sweden, trade unions have made a great progress in defending the social rights of platform workers.
The following map shows in which countries collective bargaining initiatives already exist at the national level.
Court cases relating to the employment status.
Decisions rendered by courts are of particular importance in relation to platform work, especially in the areas where regulations have not yet been clearly established. Court judgments may serve as a reference point for solutions to be adopted later in national legislations.
The following map shows in which countries court cases on platform work exist.