Launch Event: Care Platforms - impacts and challenges from a trade union perspective

On June 24, 2024, FES and EPSU jointly organise an online event to launch our new study on Care Platforms.

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Date & time: 24 June 2024 at 1pm (CEST)
Venue: Online via Zoom
Languages: English, Italian, French and Spanish 
In cooperation with: European Public Service Union

The poor working conditions of workers in the platform-based ‘gig’ economy have received considerable media attention during the last years. Yielding to the pressure from gig workers, trade unions and civil society, the European Council adopted in March 2024 a directive to improve the working conditions for platform workers.

The debate around platform-based gig work usually revolves around particular offline services, such as food delivery and Uber driving, or around the invisible crowd of “clickworkers”, which complete fully digital micro-tasks on platforms. There are, however, other platform-mediated gig services which have received little to no media attention.

One growing sector in this field is the sector of platform-mediated care. Perhaps surprisingly, the number of caregivers on the platform Care.com alone exceeds the number of Uber drivers worldwide many times over. In 2018, there were 12.7 million carer profiles registered on Care.com, as compared to 3.9 million Uber drivers worldwide. At the same time, almost all EU countries report significant staff shortages in the care sector. This makes exploring the long-term care platform economy a pressing issue.

To understand the challenges that are emerging in relation to the increased appearance and use of platforms in the care sector, the FES Future of Work and EPSU conducted a study on care platforms and impacts and challenges from a trade union perspective.

This research outlines different approaches unions can take to address employment conditions in the care sector, including specific action in relation to platform work, to ensure workers have a voice. It discusses options for unions in recruiting and organising care workers as well as strategies at the political level. The report concludes with observations and issues for further discussion.

On behalf of the FES Competence Centre on the Future of Work and EPSU, we are very pleased to invite you to the Study  Launch Event on 24 June (13p.m.-14.15p.m. CEST).

The authors of the two study, Caroline Murphy (University of Limerick) and Ivana Pais (Università Cattolica, Milano) will present the key findings. We are delighted to have two experts, Ursula Huws (Analytica Social & Economic Research) and Dana-Carmen Bachmann (European Commission), who will comment on the results for us from their different perspectives. After the presentations and comments, there is time for questions from the audience.

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