Current digital developments are bringing an increased labour flexibility, replacing ‘jobs’ by ‘tasks’ and influencing employment relationships by reshaping them or creating new ones. Labour on demand is becoming widespread in the so-called ‘platform’, ‘collaborative’ or ‘gig’ economy’. These trends are clearly visible across Europe, for example through the use of location-based work, such as various taxi (Uber, Bolt) and delivery (Wolt, Deliveroo) services, as well as web-based work (Upwork, Clickworker, 99designs). The extent to which platform work has lifted off in the EU Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries is less clear.
The study investigated digital platform work in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. The study team reviewed the current presence of platform work in the EaP countries, the characteristics of platform workers, the working conditions and employment relations applicable to platform work. The team also explored the extent to which governments have included platform work into their legal and policy approaches. Based on this data collected, the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of platform work in the region were analysed and discussed.
PPMI involved researchers from the six countries who conducted desk research on available evidence regarding platform work and conduct interviews with stakeholders such as platform organisations (e.g., representatives of Uber or Deliveroo), platform workers themselves, as well as policy makers and labour market specialists. Their work was complemented by PPMI's data team who conducted a webscraping of platforms to gather data on the types of work, prices, skills of workers, characteristics of workers and related information.
The study summarised the state of the art regarding platform work in the six European Partnership countries and indicated key gaps in available information and knowledge.