The growth of digital platforms has created new forms of work organisation and labour outsourcing. The status of platform workers is often unclear, leaving them without access to social security, training, health and safety protection, or workers’ rights including the right to organise and bargain collectively through a trade union. The COVID-19 crisis has placed this insecurity in sharp focus. The ETUC insists that platforms should recognise their responsibility towards their workers, ensuring fair wages, security and social protection including sick pay and insurance. Dependent self-employed and freelancers should also benefit from social and trade union rights.
The ETUC is not opposed to digitalisation, but it should always improve working conditions and be developed in cooperation with workers and trade unions. The gender perspective must be at the core of all digital initiatives, increasing women’s participation in STEM sectors: (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and avoiding gender bias in algorithms.