Estimates indicate that almost 6% of the workforce in Germany earn at least a quarter of their income through platform work. The increasing number of workers joining the platform economy has gone hand in hand with new platforms entering the market, especially in the food and grocery delivery sector.
Fairwork published its first rating schemes in Germany in May 2020. Since then, the confluence of an expanding platform economy, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and new waves of labour struggles have led to more active public discussion in Germany around working conditions and workers’ rights.
The Fairwork Germany project is kindly funded by a research partnership between the Berlin University Alliance and the University of Oxford. The project brings together researchers from the Technical University of Berlin, the University of Oxford, and XU Exponential University and WZB Berlin Social Science Centre.
“Berlin wants to be a pioneer of fair work – especially with regard to new forms of work in the platform economy. The Berlin Senate, and in particular the Senate Department for Integration, Labour and Social Affairs, are committed to fair working conditions in this sector. That is why I very much welcome and support Fairwork’s efforts to make labour standards in the platform economy transparent and to contribute to their improvement. The Fairwork Report for Germany shows that working conditions do vary, but above all that there is still a lot to be done. Business models based on unfair and unsafe working conditions are ‘out’ and should be a thing of the past.”
“The WZB Berlin Social Science Center is proud to be the home of the Fairwork Secretariat. Because Fairwork stands for exactly what the WZB is all about: excellent research that contributes to improving our society. Fairwork understands how to raise awareness about fair working conditions among HR managers in the platform economy. Some platforms have already responded and are planning improvements. This creates momentum and pressure: more platforms will follow suit. And platform workers will demand their rights more strongly. We see: Platform work in itself doesn’t have to be bad, if co-determination and certain regulations are accepted.”
Webinar: Fairwork Germany Ratings 2021 Report Launch
Did you miss the launch of the Fairwork Germany Ratings? Report author Dr Oğuz Alyanak give a brief presentation of key findings from the report. This is followed by a discussion with guest panellists: Prof h.c. Jutta Allmendinger, PhD (President, WZB Berlin Social Science Centre), Ana Dujić (Director, Policy Lab ‘Digital, Work & Society’ of the German Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs) and Prof Eva Kocher (European University Viadrina Frankfurt Oder).
Fairwork Berlin Talk Series 2021
In November 2021, researchers, students and activists from the international Fairwork network and beyond met in Berlin for the Fairwork Winter School to discuss the future of platform labour, alternative visions to shape the platform economy and concrete steps to implement fairer working conditions in the sector.
As part of the Fairwork Winter School programme, we hosted a series of open panel discussions with experts. You can find the recordings on our Youtube channel!
What is it like working for Uber, Liefereando or Helpling? Listen to the Fairwork Podcast series and explore the radical changes to the world of work through the voice of those at its centre.
This week on the Fairwork podcast, we are exploring the company Gorillas Technologies – one of the fastest-growing startups in Europe. It’s a company with massive plans for expansion and is growing at a breakneck speed. We’ll hear from two Gorillas riders – Zeynep and Jakob – about their own experiences of the strikes, as well as catching up with Oğuz Alyanak to look at what the rise of these companies says about the way in which technologies are reshaping labour markets.
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