UNI Europa report on ‘Online Talent Platforms, Labour Market Intermediaries and the Changing World of Work’

Thursday 17 May 2018

UNI, together with WEC-Europe, have published the first ever pan-European report mapping the online talent platform economy and comparing it with temporary agency work.

It will come as little surprise that the comparison between online talent platforms and the temporary agency sector revealed significant differences along a number of dimensions.

Access to training and social protection was significantly less for workers in the online talent platforms. This is not least due to the fact that the regulation governing the temporary agency sector is not at all mirrored in the online talent platforms. The report also compares the size of the two sectors and discusses how they facilitate, or hinder, workers’ transition into other types of jobs and contracts.

“Workers in the online talent platforms face more barriers to job and career advancement than workers in the temp agency sector.” Director Christina Colclough, UNI Global Union

Significantly, workers in the online platforms faced more barriers to job and career change then those in the temporary agency sector. An interesting fact given that the online platforms are often hailed for their flexibility.

Joint Recommendations

Recognising the vast differences for workers and businesses in the temporary agency sector compared to the online platforms, the social partners for the European sectoral social dialogue on temporary agency work, the World Employment Confederation-Europe and UNI-Europa, signed a set of Joint Recommendations to policy makers, online talent platforms and temporary work agencies as well as to the academic world.

The recommendations address, amongst others, the need for a level-playing field, ensuring the same treatment for adequately similar services, the importance of developing transferable and portable rights, the application and enforcement of existing law, including rules on data protection and the call to encourage existing social partners to develop inclusive social dialogue with online talent platforms and their labour suppliers.

Full report and Executive Summary

The full report can be read and downloaded below. The Executive Summary is available here in French and English.

About the project

As the two recognized social partners for the European sectoral social dialogue on temporary agency work, the World Employment Confederation-Europe and UNI-Europa initiated a joint project in January 2017 on “Online talent platforms, labour market intermediaries and the changing world of work.” The project was part of the 2017-2018 EU Sectoral Social Dialogue Work Programme 2017-2018. The research was conducted by the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) and the Institute of labour Economics (IZA).

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