The Platform Economy and Industrial Relations: Applying the Old Framework to the New Reality

CEPS Research Report, No. 2017/12, August 2017; ISBN 978-94-6138-631-1

53 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2017

See all articles by Zachary Kilhoffer

Zachary Kilhoffer

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Karolien Lenaerts

CEPS

Miroslav Beblavý

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS)

Date Written: August 7, 2017

Abstract

How do platforms such as Uber and Deliveroo – and corresponding new modes of work – mesh with unions and European models of industrial relations? This paper investigates the intersection of the platform economy, industrial relations and social dialogue. It provides strong evidence that workers in the platform economy are organising into new employee associations (unions) and are also being brought into existing employee associations. None of the evidence surveyed indicates that platforms are organising into employer associations or being incorporated into existing employer associations. Anecdotal evidence suggests that actors in the platform economy are beginning to engage in tripartite dialogue.

The authors conclude that:

i) no overarching framework exists for governing or facilitating social dialogue between the parties involved in the platform economy, and

ii) even if the existing framework is applied to parties in the platform economy, it offers a poor fit due to differences between platform workers and employees, and platforms and employers.

This research was carried out in the framework of a new project on Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue in the Age of the Collaborative Economy (IRSDACE), which is funded by the European Commission.

Keywords: platform economy, industrial relations, social dialogue, employee associations

Suggested Citation

Kilhoffer, Zachary and Lenaerts, Karolien and Beblavý, Miroslav, The Platform Economy and Industrial Relations: Applying the Old Framework to the New Reality (August 7, 2017). CEPS Research Report, No. 2017/12, August 2017; ISBN 978-94-6138-631-1 , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3053826

Zachary Kilhoffer (Contact Author)

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) ( email )

1 Place du Congres, 1000
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

Karolien Lenaerts

CEPS ( email )

1 Place du Congres, 1000
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

Miroslav Beblavý

Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) ( email )

1 Place du Congres
Brussels, 1000
Belgium

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