Advertisement

The Role of European Institutions in Promoting Decent Work in the “Collaborative Economy”

  • Antonio Aloisi
Chapter
Part of the Research for Development book series (REDE)

Abstract

This chapter aims at discussing the European approach to regulating the so-called “collaborative economy”, by looking at the main legislative initiatives regarding this set of fast-growing digital companies. Despite the potential efficiencies and benefits for customers, more recently, a counter-narrative has started revealing the “broken promise” of managing a contingent workforce mobilised on a “just in time” and “just in case” basis. The second section briefly describes the “collaborative economy” landscape and the dissemination of the heterogeneous category of “non-standard forms of employment” in the European scenario. The third section discusses the Uber case, the most visible symptom of a consolidated tendency towards fragmentation of the once solid relationship between the worker and the employing entity. In this respect, a recent ruling by the European Court of Justice on the nature of the service provided by the “transport platform” is analysed in depth. The fourth section investigates the European communications and resolutions which adapt the current legal framework and provide guidelines for regulating work in the collaborative economy, namely the Communication on the European agenda for the collaborative economy, the European Pillar of Social Rights, and other Parliamentary initiatives. The study is based on a theoretical and descriptive methodology. This chapter concludes by recommending a cautious regulatory approach. It has been highlighted that many online platforms are still in their business “infancy”, and experts genuinely do not know how they will develop. Consequently, legislative headlong rushes may end up crystallising the present state of the art, thus hindering “peripheral” entrepreneurial initiatives and blocking innovation. Surgical regulatory interventions shall help platform companies to adjust and improve their business model, in order to enter a new phase of “shared social responsibility”.

References

  1. Aloisi, A. (2016). Commoditized workers. Case study research on labour law issues arising from a set of ‘on-demand/gig economy’ platforms. Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 37, 3. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2637485.
  2. Aloisi, A., De Stefano, V., & Silberman, M. S. (2017). A manifesto to reform the gig economy. Retrieved May 29, 2017, from https://goo.gl/fX67S9.
  3. Berg, J. (2016). Income security in the on-demand economy: findings and policy lessons from a survey of crowdworkers. Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal 37, 3. http://ssrn.com/abstract=2740940.
  4. Böckmann, M. (2013). The Shared Economy: It is time to start caring about sharing; value creating factors in the shared economy, University of Twente, Faculty of Management and Governance.Google Scholar
  5. Bruns, A. (2009). From prosumer to produser: Understanding user-led content creation. London: Transforming Audiences.Google Scholar
  6. Butler S. (2017). Deliveroo accused ofcreating vocabularyto avoid calling couriers employees, The Guardian, https://goo.gl/0tN46O.
  7. Cachon G. P., Daniels K. M., & Lobel R. (2016). The role of surge pricing on a service platform with self-scheduling capacity. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2698192.
  8. Calo, R., & Rosenblat, A. (2017). The taking economy, uber, information and power. Columbia Law Review, 117. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2929643.
  9. Cauffman, C., & Smits, J. (2016). The sharing economy and the law: food for European lawyers. Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law, 23, 6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cherry, M. A., & Aloisi, A. (2017). “Dependent contractors” in the gig economy: a comparative approach. American University Law Review 66, 3. http://ssrn.com/abstract=2847869.
  11. Codagnone, C., Abadie, F., & Biagi, F. (2016a). The future of work in the ‘collaborative economy’: Market efficiency and equitable opportunities or unfair precarisation?. JRC Science for Policy Report, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union Studies.Google Scholar
  12. Codagnone, C., Abadie, F., & Biagi, F. (2016b). The future of work in the ‘sharing economy’. market efficiency and equitable. opportunities or unfair precarisation? JRC Science for Policy Report, Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union Studies.Google Scholar
  13. Collins, H. (1990). Independent contractors and the challenge of vertical disintegration to employment protection laws. Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, 10, 353–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Das, Acevedo D. (2016). Regulating workforce relationships in the sharing economy. Employee Rights and Employment Policy Journal, 20, 1.Google Scholar
  15. De Franceschi, A. (2016). The adequacy of Italian law for the platform economy. Journal of European Consumer and Market Law, 5, 1.Google Scholar
  16. De Groen, W. P., & Maselli, I. (2015). The Impact of the Collaborative Economy on the Labour Market, CEPS Special Report No. 138.Google Scholar
  17. De Stefano, V. (2016). The rise of the ‘just-in-time workforce’: On-demand work, crowd work and labour protection in the ‘gig-economy’. Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal, 37, 3. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2682602.
  18. Dokka, J., Munforf, M., & Schanzenbach, D. W. (2015). Workers and the online gig economy, The Hamilton Project.Google Scholar
  19. EU-OSHA (2015). A review on the future of work: Online labour exchanges, or ‘crowdsourcing’: Implications for occupational safety and health.Google Scholar
  20. Fabo, B., Karanovic, J., & Dukova, K. (2017). In search of an adequate European policy response to the platform economy. Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Garben, S. (2017). Protecting workers in the online platform economy: An overview of regulatory and policy developments in the EU, European Risk Observatory Discussion Paper.Google Scholar
  22. Geradin, D. (2016). Online intermediation platform and free trade principles—some reflections on the uber preliminary ruling case, https://ssrn.com/abstract=2759379.
  23. Geron, T. (2013). Airbnb and the unstoppable rise of the share economy, Forbes, https://goo.gl/QQq3fr.
  24. Harris, S. D., & Krueger, A. B. (2015). A proposal for modernizing labor laws for twenty-first-century work: Theindependent worker”, The Hamilton Project.Google Scholar
  25. Hatzopoulos, V., & Roma, S. (2017). Caring for sharing? The collaborative economy under EU law. Common Market Law Review, 54(1), 81.Google Scholar
  26. Hendrickx, F. (2017). The European Pillar of Social Rights: Interesting times ahead. European Labour Law Journal, 8, 3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Huws, U., Spencer, N. H., & Joyce, S. (2016). Crowd work in Europe. Preliminary results from a survey in the UK, Sweden, Germany, Austria and The Netherlands, Feps Studies.Google Scholar
  28. International Labour Office ILO (2016). Non-standard employment around the world: Understanding challenges, shaping prospects, Geneva.Google Scholar
  29. Mandl, I., Curtarelli, M., Riso, S., Vargas, O., & Gerogiannis, E. (2015). New forms of employment, Eurofound Report.Google Scholar
  30. Noto la Diega, G. (2016). Uber law and awareness by design. An empirical study on online platforms and dehumanised negotiations. Revue Européenne de droit de la Consommation/European Journal of Consumer Law, 2.Google Scholar
  31. OECD (2016a). Working party on measurement and analysis of the digital economy, new forms of work in the digital economy, https://goo.gl/5BkfdH.
  32. OECD (2016b). New forms of work in the digital economy, Dsti/Iccp/Iis(2015)13/Final, https://goo.gl/0b3c4t.
  33. Petropoulos, G. (2017). An economic review of the collaborative economy, Bruegel Policy Contribution, 5, http://bruegel.org/2017/02/an-economic-review-of-the-collaborative-economy/.
  34. Prassl, J. (2017). Pimlico plumbers, uber drivers, cycle couriers, and court translators: Who is a worker? 33 Law Quarterly Review (Forthcoming); Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2948712.
  35. PricewaterhouseCoopers (2015). Costumer intelligence series: the sharing economy.Google Scholar
  36. Rasnača, Z. (2017). (Any) relevance of the european pillar of social rights for eu law? Retrieved Nov 17, 2017, from http://europeanlawblog.eu/2017/11/17/any-relevance-of-the-european-pillar-of-social-rights-for-eu-law/.
  37. Rosenblat, A., & Stark, L. (2016). Algorithmic labor and information asymmetries: a case study of Uber’s drivers. International Journal of Communication, 10, 27. https://ssrn.com/abstract=2686227.
  38. Sachs, B. (2016). What the UK decision implies for uber drivers in the U.S., On labor, https://onlabor.org/2016/10/28/what-the-ukdecision-implies-for-uber-drivers-in-the-u-s/.
  39. Smorto, G. (2017). Critical assessment of European agenda for the collaborative economy, directorate general for internal policies in-depth analysis, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/IDAN/2016/595361/IPOL_IDA(2016)595361_EN.pdf.
  40. The Economist (2006) artificial artificial intelligence, http://www.economist.com/node/7001738.
  41. Todolí-Signes, A. (2017). The ‘gig economy’: Employee, self-employed or the need for a special employment regulation? Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research, 23(1).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Vaughan, R., & Daverio, R. (2016). Assessing the size and presence of the collaborative economy in Europe, PwC UK, Impulse paper for the European Commission.Google Scholar
  43. Wallsten, S. (2015). The competitive effects of the sharing economy: How is Uber changing taxis?. Technology Policy Institute, 22.Google Scholar
  44. Weil, D. (2014). The fissured workplace: Why work became so bad for so many and what can be done to improve it. Massachusetts and London, Cambridge: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bocconi UniversityMilanItaly

Personalised recommendations