Code of Conduct
Principles for Paid Crowdsourcing/Crowdworking
Digitalisation has had an enormous impact on society as a whole and the working world in particular. This has resulted in new models of employment as well as new forms of collaboration that influence and change individuals, employers and social institutions. Crowdsourcing, or the outsourcing of projects and tasks to an international online community, is a result of that development. Within the last few years this new form of work has become more and more popular and has been established as an inherent part of society. However, the risks and controversies associated with crowdworking are still being discussed.
Crowdworking – a new form of employment in the digital world
Crowdworkers earn money while being time and location independent. At the same time companies get access to a huge number of workers and experts who are available to fulfill the corresponding tasks. There are still some uncertainties concerning the collaboration between crowdworkers and companies or service providers. Bad working conditions and remuneration issues are only two of many key words that are often addressed in this issue.
Self-imposed guidelines – standards and rules for the industry
As a company whose business model is, amongst other things based on the principle of crowdsourcing, we want to actively shape the societal debate and promote industry standards. To make crowdworking a win-win-situation for all participants and create good working conditions, certain rules are necessary. Therefore we have initiated a set of self-imposed guidelines that is supported by the German Crowdsourcing Association (Deutscher Crowdsourcing Verband e.V.) and was signed by two other leading crowdworking providers, Streetspotr and clickworker. In this Code of Conduct we address, among other points, payment, communication, time scheduling and privacy protection of crowdworkers and companies. You can see the principles in their entirety at http://www.crowdsourcing-code.com/
Examples what kind of rules the Code of Conduct includes
1. Tasks in conformance with the law
All undersigned members commit not to offer any projects to the crowdworkers, that contain illegal, discriminating, fraudulent, demagogic, violent or anti-constitutional content. Furthermore, regulations regarding age limitations, e.g. when consuming online content, are considered and declared when giving out a task. The platforms are obliged to regularly check all tasks and projects regarding their legal conformity.
2. Clarification on legal situations
The members of the Code of Conduct commit to inform the crowdworkers about the legal regulations in general and tax regulations in particular, which are connected to crowdworking. In case a company is not permitted to give legal advice, they inform the crowdworkers that they have to take care of the legal matters themselves according to the worker’s own legal and personal circumstances.
Presenting the Code of Conduct – reactions and further
In July 2015 the Code of Conduct was presented to the public in the form of a round table with business representatives, scientists and members of workers’ unions. The reaction from all participants was consistently positive and the Code of Conduct was rated as an important step in the right direction. Together, we want to further develop these principles. The Code of Conduct is open to all interested parties and we look forward to other companies following our example and supporting the code as well.