The externally determined employee

In its judgment on crowdworkers, the Federal Labor Court redefines the concept of employee. This has great explosive power and could ultimately affect all framework agreements. A guest post.

A woman is sitting on the couch in her apartment and is working on the laptop.

Dhe Federal Labor Court took a position for the first time. Even if its practical relevance has always been uncertain, the phenomenon of crowdworking has received considerable attention in recent years in legal and political discussions. The focal point was whether crowdworkers can qualify as employees. Because the position of employees depends on whether the door to the protective instruments under labor law is open to them.

Now the case law has given the discussion a new basis: In the opinion of the Ninth Senate, the continuous execution of small orders by users of an online platform on the basis of a framework agreement made with its operator can lead to the creation of an employment relationship. The prerequisite for this is that the crowdworker is obliged to provide personal services, the owed activity is simply stored and its implementation is specified in terms of content, and the placing of orders and the use of the online platform are “controlled” by the crowdsourcer in the sense of external control.