Our News

IDFA Documentary: 'The gig is up'

April 19, 2022

"There is a cost to convenience"

On Thursday, April 14, we watched the IDFA Documentary: 'The gig is up' with our relations. A documentary that shows the human side of the global platform economy.

JBR is a sponsor of Club IDFA, which means that we visit the festival every year in Pathé Tuschinski with our business relations. Like many cultural events, our event was also postponed due to corona. Fortunately, there is a cozy cinema near our office in Zeist and a lounge in Hotel Theater Figi, giving us the opportunity to show 'our' documentary after all.

IDFA Documentary: 'The gig is up'
Ronald van Rijn

In her documentary, filmmaker Shannon Walsh shows how this new form of labor is being worked under deplorable conditions around the world.

The documentary is about the promise of work platform organizations in recruiting. You set your own working hours, you are your own boss and you can earn a lot.

The reality is different. Very little of the promised autonomy remains in practice.

Working as a bicycle courier is dangerous and tiring. If you have to support a family by delivering meals you make too many hours. As a driver with Uber, you use your own car. The costs of fuel, insurance, maintenance and damages are not compensated. There are many hidden costs.

In addition, you also depend on the rating by the order taker. As soon as the recipient is in a bad mood or if you deliver an incomplete order, you get a bad rating. This immediately sinks you in the ranking and you get fewer or no orders.


The documentary tells the story of Layla, from Paris. She is a flash delivery driver for Deliveroo and Uber Eats. Layla is a single mother taking care of her son. She is exhausted and does dangerous work. A dear colleague is hit while working as a bicycle courier, he later dies of his injuries.

IDFA Documentary: 'The gig is up' 2


Jason from Florida has gold teeth and a criminal record. A regular job is not an option for him. He fills out online surveys and earns only a few cents per survey. He poses as an African-American Republican, which makes his views popular. Jason estimates that he has earned more than $30,000. He takes care of his sick mother and sponsors her addiction to scratch cards. Of his earnings, very little is left.

IDFA Documentary: 'The gig is up' 4


Mitchell in Nigeria works at Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk), a bottomless pit of strange "microtasks" to optimize Amazon's AI. Tasks are offered day and night and Amazon pays him in gift cards from... Amazon.

IDFA Documentary: 'The gig is up' 3


The apps of this platform economy are designed to prevent workers from meeting and organizing. In the documentary, we see that organization succeeds anyway and the platform workers protest the conditions and circumstances.


Mr. Maaike Faber is the moderator

Maaike Faber has been with Wijn & Stael since 2015 and specializes in employment law. She represents employers and employees in numerous employment law cases.

IDFA Documentary: 'The gig is up' 1
Maaike Faber of Wine & Stael

Many networking platforms deploy workers as self-employed, but it is questionable whether this is justified. The nature of the employment relationship determines workers' rights, and thus is of great importance to the position of workers.

Through her statements on labor law and authority relations, questions and comments came from the audience:

  • 'It reminds me of the industrial revolution with a poor invisible working class.'
  • 'It's like modern day slavery, because of the low earnings and no right to social security.'
  • "It would be a task of the United Nations to protect the rights of these people worldwide.
  • 'Self-employment/self-employed constructions will become increasingly important in labor.'
  • "A basic income can generate a more stable income for these workers.
  • 'Do we really need to want this in our society? You don't really want this, do you?'


Afterwards there was a networking reception with fascinating conversations. The documentary is conversation and food for thought.

Now when we see a flash delivery driver riding a bike, we also think about the working conditions and earnings. What do they earn per ride? Do they have an employment contract? Do they pay for their own equipment? How are they insured? Are they paid in the event of illness?

It is likely that all attendees will use services more thoughtfully through work platforms.

Thank you for your presence and commitment.