Eight German labor platforms sign “Crowdsourcing Code of Conduct 2.0”

Eight Germany-based platforms have signed a document in which they agreed to include “local wage standards” as a factor in setting prices on their platforms.

The document, the “Crowdsourcing Code of Conduct“, is a revised and expanded version of a document first published in 2015 under the same name, with three platforms as signatories.

The Code was first initiated by Munich-based software testing platform Testbirds and is officially supported by the German Crowdsourcing Association (“Deutscher Crowdsourcing Verband“).

The Crowdsourcing Project of the German Metalworkers’ Union, IG Metall, gave the group input during the production of the second version of the Code. A 2016 survey of workers on six German platforms, carried out in collaboration with the platform operators, revealed that workers on every platform found “fair payment” by far the most important principle in the Code. As a result, this principle was clarified and strengthened as much as possible given the platforms’ current business models and economic circumstances.

While lauding the improvement of the self-regulatory effort, especially the attention to fair payment, in a press release (German), the union made clear its position that government regulation is still needed, for example to ensure that workers who are in fact employees are not misclassified as self-employed persons, and in general to ensure a “level playing field” among workers.