Study - The Definition of Worker in the platform economy

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The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) intends to conclude a service contract for a study on "Definition of Worker in the platform economy and collective bargaining". Mainly, the study should:

  • Identify a clear and encompassing definition of worker, which allows for workers under the new forms of work (and particularly in the platform economy) to enjoy similar protection levels as standard employees.
  • Compare the EU law and national law situations against this definition, mapping the current state of affairs, detecting best and worst practices, and providing an overview of how prepared the EU is for the future developments of the labour market.
  • Provide an overview of non-standard and new forms of work, focusing nevertheless on the platform economy, but taking into account other new forms of work (such as gig-economy) that might challenge the traditional definition of worker.

Likewise, the study must also include what are the real statuses of these workers in terms of collective bargaining, unionisation, and social protection, as well as, when available, their demographic and socioeconomic structure. It should clarify which member states have the most effective legal and policy frameworks regarding the protection of workers in the platform economy.


The study should provide an overview of the different challenges platform workers face across the EU. A special chapter with the latest coronavirus crisis developments, and how it has affected workers (e.g. in particular, platform workers).

The study should provide conclusions of its findings and propose policy recommendations at EU and national level.

Desk research of primary (law, case law, etc.) and secondary sources (reports, articles, statistical reports) is expected, together with the possibility of developing other data collection methods such as expert consultations, expert groups, interviews, or surveys.

The study should cover either the 27 EU member states, or a representative sample of them, at least 5 selected with duly justified criteria. The timeframe should be focused on the current state of affairs and last available data, taking into account briefly any major relevant changes in this sense for the 2010-2020 period in the analysed countries and the EU.

Indicative calendar 

  • Launch of the invitation to tender: estimated timing is September 2020.
  • Contract award: estimated timing is November 2020.
  • The final study is expected within 9 months following the signature of the contract.
  • Deadline for offers: approximately in October 2020.


Expressions of interest to participate or requests for further information should be sent (before the deadline mentioned below) to the following functional mailbox:


Friday, September 25, 2020 - 13:00