3. An Inclusive Europe

3.2 New ways of working

Digitalisation has enabled the rise of the platform economy and new unconventional working arrangements, impacting on an increasing number of workers.

The emergence of new technologies is creating opportunities, introducing new and modified jobs and increasing productivity.

These changes are already affecting labour markets, with job polarisation and a reduction in medium-skilled jobs with routine tasks.

Although the relationship between new technologies and the employment of different skill groups is very complex, technological change is considered the most important determinant of job polarisation.

There are different perspectives on the positive and negative implications of platform work.

Platform work is complex, with many different types of online labour platforms, each with their own specific business models, worker profiles, and specific needs for public policy interventions.

The development of the platform economy creates new opportunities for workers, self-employed, customers and businesses. Yet, it can also lead to new forms of precariousness, as workers may need to adapt to the fast-moving labour market.

The sustainable growth of the platform economy requires improved working conditions for platform workers. There are different perspectives on the positive and negative implications of platform work.

Sustained social dialogue and inclusiveness contribute to balance between social dimension and technological innovation.

The effects of an increasingly digital economy, including many jobs created through the platform economy and new unconventional working arrangements, are beginning to emerge for a growing number of workers. Currently, 1 in 10 adults has some experience of supplying goods or services on internet platforms.

Contractual stability and employment quality still greatly depend on industrial relations and coverage by collective agreements. Permanent full-time employment constitutes the most common form of employment by far, although there are other less-standard forms of employment which may bring structural change.

Source: DG Research and Innovation, Chief Economist - R&I Strategy & Foresight Unit based on Eurostat (online data code: lfsa_egised) and OECD data
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Source: European Commission, DG Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion calculations based on COLLEEM survey 2017
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3.3 No places left behind