Digital labour platforms have become a common feature in today’s world and part of our everyday lives. Platforms have grown five-fold over the past decade and have become even more prominent since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Online platforms provide businesses with a new way of outsourcing work to a global workforce. Platform work covers a range of tasks such as designing a website, developing software or training an algorithm. They are changing the way work is organised and regulated. According to an ILO study, digital platforms are creating new opportunities, particularly for women, young people, persons with disabilities and marginalised groups in different parts of the world.
However, digital platforms are also blurring the previously clear distinction between employees and the self-employed. Most of the time, workers are poorly paid, and their everyday experience is defined by algorithms. They also often lack access to traditional employment benefits such as social protection, paid leave, minimum wages and collective bargaining.