Science et technologie


Entrepreneurial opportunities and working conditions of self-employed online freelancers in the platform economy

Lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

This paper examines the experiences of self-employed online freelancers working on digital labour platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on interviews with freelancers and platform managers and experts in Belgium, France, Italy, the Netherlands and Poland. Their experiences during COVID-19 reveal issues of asymmetric power vis-à-vis platforms. Notably, they reported lack of transparency and certainty in their contracts with platforms, lack of power in negotiating with clients, and limited ability to engage with clients on other platforms. In addition, they often experienced difficulties in accessing government temporary supports for businesses during the pandemic. The paper puts forward policy recommendations to address these issues.

Available from November 15, 2023

In series:OECD SME and Entrepreneurship Papersview more titles