The European Commission is pursuing its "Digital Single Market Strategy" as one of its priorities. Its accomplishment is supposed to add billions of euros to the European economy and to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs for younger job seekers.


Even today, millions of workers across the European Union are earning their living through ‘crowd-working’: selling their labour to employers via platform-based companies. Platform-based business models often undermine and endanger existing companies and their workers, as well as the very idea of employment as it is now. Many of these online jobs are precarious, badly paid and with no social protection or health insurance cover. Furthermore, research indicates that workers in this “gig economy” suffer from a lack of autonomy, constant pressure and major obstacles to claim their rights.


Both the European Commission and national governments across Europe need to start assessing the risks posed by a rising number of online employees. At the same time, trade unions have to live up to the challenge of organising and defending such workers in order to avoid a downward spiral in working conditions and pay.


How can the EU ensure that the growing numbers of self-employed and freelance workers have access to basic rights enjoyed by those in employment? Are existing labour regulations and benefits systems fit for the age of platform capitalism? How can welfare and benefits systems be adapted to this unpredictable work environment?

Date Wednesday, 3rd May 2017, 18:30
Permanent Representation of Austria to the EU, 1st floor
Avenue de Cortenbergh 30