Last month, the World Economic Forum published its Charter of Principles for Good Platform Work (, calling it: a ground-breaking initiative by leading companies in the sector to collectively identify and commit to key principles that in their view should underpin good platform work

In reality, though, the Charter is nothing more than a self-serving attempt by these companies and the WEF to create the impression that they are committed to the well-being of workers – while their practices continue to demonstrate otherwise. The founding partners whose CEOs signed the Charter are Cabify, Deliveroo, Grab, MBO Partners, Postmates and Uber.

They give the game away at the start. Among the opening ‘views and aspirations’ of the Charter is the following: It is important that platform workers are classified appropriately under the law and suitable regulation provided for these forms of work and services. This is code for the starting assumption of contractor status adopted by most gig economy platforms, which shifts the onus onto workers to prove – through costly litigation – that they are in fact employees.