Predictability and Transparency of Working Conditions for Food Delivery Platform Workers Across Selected EU Countries

Janine Leschke*, Laura Scheele

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

While prior research has demonstrated the poor and unpredictable working conditions and ambiguous working arrangements characteristic of platform-based food delivery, we lack research on the question of how well these workers are informed about essential aspects of their work, including protection of their rights, working time and schedules, and earnings. Comprehensive and transparent information on working conditions at an early stage is indispensable if workers are to be able to make informed decisions on taking up work and, where relevant, investing in equipment and exercising rights linked to a specific job. Drawing on the multi-dimensional job quality literature, this article focuses on digital labour platforms in the food delivery sector across four countries: Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain. We exploit firm-level variations, including with regard to the types of work arrangements used and the application—or not—of collective agreements. We draw on information provided to riders during the application process prior to the start of employment, including via websites and FAQs, as well as scrutiny of contracts, service agreements and collective bargaining agreements, where relevant. This information is complemented with interviews with trade union representatives. Our findings point to the relationship between a firm's choice of employment status and form of contract, on one hand, and the predictability and transparency of information provided to workers, on the other. Differences and similarities in such information seem to be more strongly bound to firm-level decisions than to the welfare and industrial relations regimes in which the platform companies operate.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Policy and Administration
Volume58
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)638-657
Number of pages20
ISSN0144-5596
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2024

Bibliographical note

Published online: 15 May 2024.

Keywords

  • Earnings
  • Food delivery workers
  • Job quality
  • Labour markets and labour market policy
  • Platform work
  • Working conditions
  • Working time

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