CE26 - Innovation, travail

New forms of labour through the digital platforms – TraPlaNum

Submission summary

The TraPlaNum project aims to produce a state of the art and a multidisciplinary analysis of work done through digital platforms. The development of digital platforms disrupts both economic and legal frameworks.

Crowdworking is a new form of work performed by ‘the crowd’ through a digital intermediary and based on the outsourcing of certain activities. In particular, it poses difficulties relating to the legal status and the rights of the people performing this work, who do not benefit from formal recognition as employees. There are equally important changes in the dynamics of the labour market.

When it comes to workers in engaging in microtasking, such as in the relatively fluid forms of work performed through platforms such as BeMyEye or FouleFactory, where do we locate the applicable response? Might it be found in the approach taken by the case law responding to the prototypical platform model, such as that of Uber or Deliveroo, in which there exist identifiable communities of worker and an identifiable employer-like figure? Or could it be located in the regulatory frameworks provided by national legislators such as the ‘El Khomri Law’?
We propose a multidisciplinary approach (law, economics, management) to fully comprehend the multifarious aspects and implications of the crowdworking phenomenon. The consortium brings together 20 professors, researchers and doctoral candidates from four research laboratories (CERCRID, UMR CNRS 5137 ; Triangle UMR CNRS 5206 ; Centre de Droit des Affaires à Toulouse Equipe d'accueil 780; Coactis Equipe d’accueil 4161). The lead team of CERCRID, under the coordination of Emmanuelle Mazuyer, Director of Research at the CNRS, has a leading reputation in the field of empirical research, thanks in particular to the support of a data analyst.

An empirical study will generate an original and important taxonomy of platforms offering task-based work in France and will analyse their business models, their contractual terms, their forms of work organization and their payment structures. Field studies of digital workers will be carried out to better understand their expectations, legal status, welfare rights and collective representation. One of the original features of the project is to distribute a questionnaire in the form of a remunerated microtask in order to collect significant data from a large sample of workers and companies. The collected data will make it possible to produce significant research outputs and to propose a new classification and typology of crowdworking platforms which make us of work performed in France. Our results will be compared with the approaches taken in five foreign countries (some of which provide for formal intermediate status between those of ‘employee’ and ‘self-employed’, while others do not) and the European Union.

The objectives are to deliver an unprecedented state of the art on the performance of microtasks and the platforms or applications that operate in France. Furthermore, there will be an analysis of their specificities, both from a legal and contractual point of view, as well their business models and human resources management practices. Modes of dissemination and evaluation of results are planned in order to propose, in a proactive manner, regulatory or oversight-based solutions to remedy any problematic practices which might be observed, whether in terms of the rights of those who perform the crowdworking tasks, or in the interests of public bodies (undeclared work, benefit fraud) or private actors (unfair competition, circumvention of regulated markets or sectors).

We will also assess the possibility of continuing the database and analysis set up during the project in order to update it and to disseminate it to interested parties and services.

Project coordination


The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Triangle Triangle : Action, discours, pensée politique et économique

Help of the ANR 401,548 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2019 - 48 Months

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