Platform Work and the Danish Model: Legal Perspectives

Natalie Videbæk Munkholm, Christian Højer Schjøler

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Labour law and services provided via online platforms or digital
apps, platform work, appear to be an ill-matched couple as the business
model of the platforms often relies on the worker not being an
employee, whereas labour law categorises persons performing work as
either self-employed or employees, depending on the circumstances of
the relationship. Recent European and national case law concerning
Uber illustrate that the classification of platform work is complicated.
This article examines platform work in the light of the Danish model of
providing a legal basis for decent pay and working conditions by way of
collective bargaining. Collective agreements are a prerequisite for the
Danish model to be extended to persons providing services via digital
platforms. Platform businesses operate in an uncertain realm where the
use of collective agreements could be questionable from a labour law as
well as from a competition law perspective. The article takes a closer
look at such legal perspectives by drawing out principles from national
case law as well as case law of the European Court of Justice. The article
further discusses a trial-agreement concluded between a trade union and
a platform business in Denmark. The article concludes that collective
agreements would be in line with the Danish model as well as with
competition law, as long as the circumstances of each contract of service
are characteristic of employment and as long as the service providers are
not genuinely self-employed. The article contributes to the discourse on
collective agreements as a means to ensure decent pay and working
conditions as well as societal values and protections for persons
providing services in the form of labour via online websites and digital
Original languageEnglish
JournalNordic Journal of Commercial Law
Issue number2018
Pages (from-to)116-145
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • labour law
  • Platform Technologies


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