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Platform economy assessed for first time in Germany: COVID-19 pandemic brings into sharp relief risk

The Fairwork Project has launched its first set of annual ratings for digital platforms in Germany, shedding light on the working conditions of platform workers. The ratings are based on Fairwork's five principles: fair pay, fair conditions, fair contracts, fair management and fair representation.

Fairwork found that while Germany’s relatively stringent labour regulations provide some protections for workers, they do not necessarily translate into fairer working conditions in the platform economy.

The platforms rated included CleverShuttle (score 9), Zenjob (score 8), InStaff (score 7), BerlKönig (score 6), Lieferando (score 5), Amazon Flex (score 4), (score 4), Careship (score 4), Helpling (score 2), Uber (score 1).

The findings

Fair Pay: All platforms but one were able to evidence that workers are paid at least the minimum wage.

Fair Conditions: Seven out of ten platforms were able to evidence that they have policies in place to protect workers from risks arising from the processes of work.

Fair Contracts: All platforms provide terms and conditions in a clear, transparent and accessible form.

Fair Management: Only half of the platforms were able to demonstrate that their management processes allowed for due process for decisions affecting workers.

Fair Representation: The principle of fair representation was only met by two platforms: CleverShuttle and Zenjob.

"With Germany moving towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution at full speed, it is crucial that we safeguard important protections for all workers. The range in Fairwork scores across German platforms is proof that very different models of work are possible within the platform economy. Crucially, this points to pathways for effective regulation, and provides a basis from which collective bodies of workers can formulate their demands"- Dr. Maren Borkert


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