The platform economy has been expanding in Spain, Portugal, Romania and Germany in the last decade. However, only in Spain and Portugal new legislations have been adopted by the national governments. In Spain, the ‘Rider Law’ from 2021 stipulates that delivery workers must be considered as employees and are therefore entitled to basic rights. In Portugal, the so-called ‘Uber Law’ introduces a presumption of employment by defining an electronic platform and governing the employment status of individual platform workers. Furthermore, online platforms and platform workers are obliged to subscribe to a central register in order to provide their services.
Unlike in Spain and Portugal, online platforms are not facing such specific regulations in Germany and Romania. In the Romanian public sphere, the platform economy has been discussed as a new and positive phenomenon that fosters flexibility and autonomy compared to standard employment.
As a result, the importance of social protection, collective bargaining or working conditions of platform workers have been largely neglected.
In Germany, despite multiple grassroots initiatives addressing the rights of platform workers, the public debates have been focusing more on data protection at the workplace. Various parties and trade unions have been calling for an employee data-protection law in addition to the requirements laid down in the GDPR.
This FES event by FES Future of Work, FES Spain & Portugal and FES Romania aimed to address the issue of platform work, online platforms and platform workers in Spain, Portugal, Romania and Germany.
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