21 Dec 2018

Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue in the Age of Collaborative Economy


Karolien Lenaerts

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Digitalisation has given rise to new forms of work and work organisation, of which work in the platform economy is a much discussed case as it presents opportunities and challenges to governments, social partners, workers and other actors. This report examines the platform economy in Belgium, focusing on recent developments in policy-making and industrial relations and social dialogue. The Belgian case is particularly interesting because of the strong involvement of policy-makers and social partners in the debate, the prevalence of attempts towards organisation and representation of platform workers by workers as well as social partners, the role played by new types of intermediaries and the fact that Belgium is one of the few EU member states with dedicated legislation for the platform economy. Although Belgium is a frontrunner in these areas, the platform economy has not developed as much as in other member states. The present report delves further into these issues, exploring the proliferation of the platform economy, the responses formulated by government and social partners, and the future ahead.

This research has been carried out in the framework of a project on Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue in the Age of Collaborative Economy (IRSDACE), which is funded by the European Commission (VP/2016/004).

Karolien Lenaerts is Research Fellow at CEPS.

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