ETF manifesto proves fair platform work is possible if we stop allowing platforms to have their cake and eat it too!

25 Mar 2021

The ETF proves that fair platform work is possible in its six-step manifesto. Fulfilling this vision requires platform companies to assume their responsibilities as employers and finally admit their workers are employees. Meaning they must adhere to regulations in place and end their business model based on bogus self-employment and circumvention of labour and fiscal laws.

The manifesto comes at a crucial time for platform workers as the European Commission will release a proposal for EU law this year that seeks to “improve” their working conditions.

Despite numerous court cases, fines and even national regulations that force them to improve working conditions, platform companies still refuse to assume responsibilities as employers. If platforms are not willing to change, the change must come from above, and the ETF has all eyes on the European Commission.

ETF General Secretary, Livia Spera said:

“The European Commission must indeed “address the challenges related to working conditions in platform work”. And for this to happen, their proposal must put a stop to precarious working conditions and protect platform workers. We do not want a weak regulation that doesn’t change anything, or worse, leads to the further spread of their substandard practices.

We need a clear sign that  EU  policy-makers understand that precarious work is a threat to the very foundation of the European social model. They need to say “no” to the unfair business model of platform companies. Plain and simple. They’re not above the law. They cannot treat their workforce as a cheap and disposable commodity. They need to contribute to society, like anyone else, through taxes and social contributions. Their abusive way of doing business will proliferate as long as someone else is paying the bill!

Because mark my words: nothing stops us from imagining any profession turned into platform work. So we are calling the European Union and European governments to take a proactive stand and make sure that their citizens can work and live with dignity.”

For the ETF, it’s clear: platform companies are employers, and de facto, their workers are employees. Pretending otherwise is just their way of having their cake and eating it too – they want to avoid taking responsibility for their workers and have society bear the cost of covering the risks.

That’s why in its vision and six-step manifesto, the ETF advocates:

  • Presumption of employment status for platform workers
  • Platform work is NOT a separate sector and should not be treated as a special group
  • Third employment status, between self-employed and employee, is not an option – this will only stip workers of their fundamental rights
  • Fair pay and working conditions
  • Full compliance with labour, occupational health and safety and fiscal regulations; contribute to national social security systems and medical insurance schemes.
  • Fair digital workplace fee of biased algorithms where platform workers can access their data


ETF Manifesto for Fair Platform Work