Code of Conduct

All members of Freelance Movement have signed up to a central Code of Conduct, which provides a clear framework of values and principles that members are expected to follow. This Code of Conduct was designed to enhance the operation, image and reputation of the digital economy industry across Europe.

 

The aim of this Code of Conduct is to set out a clear framework of values and principles that members are expected to follow. It is designed to enhance the operation, image and reputation of businesses that work within - and promote - freelancing. Observation of these principles demonstrates a member’s commitment to upholding the highest principles of professionalism, integrity, fair practice and ethics in dealing with legislators, public authorities, consumers, users and other organisations within the platform economy sector across Europe.

General

  1. Members shall promote freelancing and the future of work as well as respect and follow all relevant laws nationally and across Europe.

  2. Members must have a good standing with public authorities in as much as they pay employer and company taxes, VAT and other relevant fees.

Honesty and trust

2.1 To the extent that they have a direct relationship with consumers and users, members will act honestly in all dealings with consumers and users nationally and across Europe.

2.2 Members shall be open and transparent with legislators and public authorities as well as collaborate with them in order to continually improve the operations and reputation of the platform economy.

Staff training

3.1 This Code of Conduct will be available on the Freelance-Movement.org website and accessible for the staff of member companies as well as partners, consumers and clients.

Safety and industry standards

4.1 Members shall encourage their users to maintain a high level of safety for all products and services and will support the development of reasonable industry standards and safe practices.

4.2 This Code of Conduct is not legally binding but represents good practice by Freelance Movement members and is promoted on that basis. Freelance Movement members are free to operate in their own commercial interests. This Code of Conduct does not support or promote any anti-competitive activity and should not be construed as doing so.

Operations and Dealings

5.2 To the extent that they have a direct relationship with consumers and users, members shall disclose to consumers and users all material terms of any agreement with them.

5.3 To the extent that they have a direct relationship with consumers and users, members shall put in place adequate procedures to ensure a fair and responsive service to consumers and users before, during and after all business transactions.

5.4 Members and Freelance Movement shall provide customers and users access to educational information about freelancing.

5.5 Members shall ensure that their contact information is clearly visible on their website.

5.6 Members shall treat employees, peers, customers, suppliers, competitors and the community fairly, ethically and shall promote opportunity and diversity.

5.7 Members shall never engage in any discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability, marital status, citizenship, national origin or any other characteristic protected by law.

5.8. Members will do everything within their power, and to the extent that they are realistically able to, strive to ensure that salaries paid to workers reflect fair market prices.

Development of freelancing

6.1 Members shall engage with each other and the widest possible range of stakeholders to promote the growth and development of freelancing nationally and across Europe.

6.2 Members shall work together to develop innovative responses to shared challenges in areas such as regulation, responsibility (arbetsgivaransvar), taxation, insurance and consumer protection.

6.3 Members are encouraged to gather and share information about the impact their businesses are having on the national and European economy, society and environment.

6.4 Members should act in a positive way to support the development of freelancing and the future of work.

Bribery and corruption

7.1 Members shall not participate in any form of bribery or corruption.

7.2 Members shall comply with all laws, rules and regulations governing bribery and corruption in all the countries in which they do business.

7.3 Freelance Movement will view any instance of suspected bribery or corruption seriously. Any actual instance will result in the termination of membership and reporting of those persons to the relevant regulatory and criminal authorities.

Money laundering

8.1 Members agree to fully comply with all applicable anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorism financing laws, and will only accept money from legitimate sources.

8.2 Members should commit to only conduct business with reputable customers involved in legitimate business activities.

8.3 Members should reject doing business in a way that assists or facilitates tax evasion by their customers and other third parties.

Child labour

 

9.1 Members do not accept forced child labour as defined by the United Nations 

https://www.un.org/en/observances/world-day-against-child-labour   

9.2 Members commit to contributing towards the elimination of forced child labour, including in all business activities and business relationships.

9.3 If forced child labour is confirmed in a member’s operations, Freelance Movement will ensure that measures are taken in the best interest of the child, while the respective member organisation has their membership of Freelance Movement terminated

Intellectual Property (IPR)

10.1 Members agree to respect all relevant intellectual property laws which safeguard valuable assets like patents, trademarks, regulatory data, copyrights, trade secrets, domain names and related rights.

10.2 Members are committed to respecting the intellectual property rights of third parties.

Environment

11.1 Members agree to reduce the impact of their operations on the environment, and promote sustainability and environmental awareness at all levels of their company.

11.2 Members shall comply with all applicable environmental legislation and sustainability commitments.

Data Protection

12.1 Members shall follow the legal provisions on data protection set out in the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Regulation (EU) 2016/679. This law is a first step toward giving EU citizens and residents more control over how their data are used by organisations. 

Algorithmic transparency, AI and ethics

13.1 While digitalisation is a natural part of our everyday lives - and has contributed to creating a better, more resource efficient and more inclusive society -  decisions made by automated systems and AI need to be impartial, and based on ethical assessments.

13.2 We support an ethical approach. We therefore follow the provisions laid down by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, and the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

13.3 We commit to respecting algorithmic transparency, taking responsibility and control for the systems we use, and upholding security and privacy.

13.4 Regarding AI, we will openly and comprehensively report on the area(s) in which we are working, and explain the purposes of the systems we currently use, as far as competitive circumstances and customer confidentiality allow.

Complaints & escalation

14.1 Members shall have systems in place designed to address questions and complaints from customers and users effectively and with integrity.

14.2 Members shall deal with any questions or complaints respectfully, fairly, and with a reasonable level of efficiency.

14.3 Any complaint that a member has breached the standards contained within this Code of Conduct shall be dealt with in a thorough and timely manner.

14.4 Freelance Movement will not investigate or intervene in complaints, which are based solely on a commercial dispute.

 

Bankruptcy

15.1 If a member files for bankruptcy, goes into liquidation or begins a similar reconstruction process, then this will be grounds for the member being excluded from membership of Freelance Movement.

Sanctions

16.1 Should a member fail to adhere to the terms of this Code of Conduct, the Board of Directors of Freelance Movement reserves the right to terminate their membership.

16.2 Members contravening the rules and practices laid out in this Code of Conduct will receive a written warning highlighting the alleged infraction. If no action is taken within a reasonable time frame, then a second written warning will be issued. Failure to comply will result in the member breaching the Code of Conduct having their membership terminated.