26 April 2017

Digital platforms and the labour market

In a new report on digital platforms, Ane Kristiansen and Søren Kaj Andersen attempt to systematize the many questions that digital platforms raise regarding employment relations.

Digital platforms appear in many forms, and they are used for renting objects as well as for mediating work. This last type of platforms – the work platforms – has raised questions about two well-established terms on the labour market: Employers and employees. Are platforms employers or passive distributors of technology? And are platform workers employees or independent contractors?

The purpose of this report is to make an overview of the questions that digital platforms bring about regarding the labour market in general and working conditions more specifically. It is not our ambition to answer these big and complex questions, but to gather assessments and viewpoints in the debate. Furthermore we attempt to systematize the many names that the phenomenon has been given (sharing economy, platform economy, gig-economy etc.). Finally we shed light on the debate about some of the more common digital platforms such as Upwork and Uber.

The report brings in viewpoints and assessments from the labor parties, the Danish Government, the EU-Commission and the digital platforms themselves. The report is based on articles and reports, Danish as well as international, and interviews with representatives from some of the Danish labour organizations that deal with digital platforms the most.

Read the report here (in Danish only)