Towards the “Uber-isation” of Care?

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Platform work in the sector of long-term home care and its implications for workers' rights

Until now, the political discussion on platform work and its implications for workers has largely focused on daily one-off services such as transportation, household services or online click-work. However, platform work is also gaining importance in more sensitive areas, such as healthcare and long-term care. Long-term care services provided at the client's home and mediated via digital marketplaces are an unmistakable example for this EU-wide trend that deserves academic attention. Rather than expanding on the related quality challenges, this report discusses such platforms from a worker's perspective and argues that care platforms are a highly ambivalent phenomenon for care workers' rights: higher income stands against reduced social security and worsened working conditions. As long-term care is not only a service but also a social right and a public responsibility, policy makers should critically monitor the rise of such platforms across Europe, including its implications for the carers. Collective action and public regulation could help in shaping the design of 'platform care' and minimize the negative impacts on workers.

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Towards the "Uber-isation" of Care?