Algorithmic Management:

Awareness, Risks and Responses of the Social Partners

Algorithmic management

Holubová, Barbora

Algorithmic management

Awareness, risks and response of the social partners ; Final report
Brussels, 2022

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Algorithmic management, as a diverse set of technological tools and techniques to remotely manage workforces, relying on data collection and surveillance of workers to enable automated or semi-automated decision-making is increasingly being used not only in platform work and warehouses, but also in clerical work and home offices, challenging privacy and other workers’ labour rights.

Social partners have warned against the negative impact of AM on health and safety, stress and social risks as well as discrimination over the long term and have developed specific practices to mitigate the risks and hold companies responsible for adverse consequences.

The study invistigates the following questions:

  • What is the awareness of workers of the use and the challenges/risks of algorithmic management tools
  • How do employers prevent or mitigate the risks generated by algorithmic management use?
  • What are the experiences with the actions/activities of trade unions to prevent/mitigate the risks generated by algorithmic management use?
  • What are the expectations towards employers to prevent and mitigate the risks generated by algorithmic management?
  • What are the expectations towards trade unions regarding prevention and mitigation of the risks generated by algorithmic management use?

An online survey with 27 closed and open questions was carried out from 10 January until the end of February 2022 using the Survey Monkey data collection system in all European counties. The questionnaire was disseminated via and among UNI Europa members in seven languages: English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Italian and Polish.

In total,1395 responses were included in the analysis.

- The results show that most workers have some idea of whether or not algorithmic management tools are being used, albeit with varying degrees of certainty.

- Although employees identified several trade unions’ activities to address algorithmic management risks, most of them only addressed algorithmic management challenges, such as work evaluation and control of employees.

- Collective bargaining is considered an effective tool with which to address and mitigate the risks of algorithmic management.

- Respondents rate all surveyed aspects of measures to address the algorithmic management risk at a high level of significance.

- Workers revealed in the survey a priority that trade unions should focus their protection on algorithmic management challenges.

- From the employers’ side, half of the workers did not experience any activity to address or prevent algorithmic management risks, have never been asked for consent or been provided any training on algorithmic management use.

Presentation of report findings at LABOR.A 2022

The FES Competence Centre 'Future of Work' presents together with UNI Europa the report at a joint-session at LABOR.A 2022 on September 21, 2022 (2-2.45 p.m.).

Registration & further information are available here.


Contact Persons

Dr. Inga Sabanova
Policy Officer


Future of Work

Cours Saint Michel 30a
1040 Brussels


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