What is platform work?
For example, food deliverymen and cleaners performing on-demand work can carry out platform work. When you start working for a company operating on an Internet platform, you are not regarded as an employee, but as an entrepreneur working as a partner of the company providing work.
Therefore, employees working through platforms do not have any employment relationship with the company they work for. As a platform worker, you are not entitled to pay-related unemployment security, you will not be protected by working time legislation or occupational safety and health legislation, and you are not entitled to occupational health service. Furthermore, the employer does not acquire statutory industrial injury insurance or insurance against occupational disease. Instead, you must arrange your insurance yourself.
Many platforms still work in the same way as any employer, that is, work carried out through the platform resembles employment relationships.
Are you an employee or an entrepreneur?
If you work for a company operating on a platform, considerwhether these characteristics are present between you and the company that provides work:
- The work is performed under the direction and supervision of the platform company (employer).
- The platform company determines the fees (i.e. how much is paid to workers).
- The platform company specifies the rules of work.
- The platform company determines the place where the work is carried out.
- You work at least in part with the tools of the platform company.
These characteristics are signs of an employment relationship. If these things are present in your work, you are an employee under the law, and your employer should take care of the employer’s obligations set out in the Labour Code and the Social Security Act.
However, companies that offer platform work and trade unions disagree on whether those engaged in platform work are entrepreneurs or employees.
Many of the platform economy companies operating in Finland work in such a way that the work has the characteristics of an employment relationship. For example, in October 2020, a work council under the Ministry of Employment and the Economy issued a statement stating that the cooperation between the company providing food through the online platform and its deliverymen is an employment relationship.
When companies operating on the platform regard you as a partner or self-employed entrepreneur, they usually do not pay for your pension, unemployment, illness or other insurance. They benefit greatly from this. You are a very cheap employee for them.
If you fall ill or have an accident, you do not have the security provided by insurance, as does an employee with an employment relationship. In other words, the platform worker should pay taxes and other insurances himself.