Towards decent work in the digital age: introducing the fairwork project in Germany

Alessio Bertolini, Maren Borkert, Fabian Ferrari, Mark Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The Fairwork Project is an international action-research project that currently operates in over 20 countries. The project focuses on working conditions in the platform economy, in order to develop ‘fairness ratings’ for digital labour platforms. With respect to Germany, the project evaluated the working conditions offered by ten digital labour platforms, by scoring them against the Fairwork principles and producing a national league table. We found that even in a highly regulated labour market context like the German one, platform workers experience precarity and insecurity and have limited access to employment rights. A number of platform workers are classified as employees rather than self-employed, and this guarantees a number of employment rights, including entitlement to minimum wage, health and safety protection and social protection. However, the existence of an employment relationship does not necessarily ensure platform work to be fair as other factors, including the existence of complex networks of subcontracting, erode labour standards and deprive workers of basic employment rights.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-192
JournalZeitschrift für Arbeitswissenschaft
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


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