Clicca qui per scaricare

Digital Cleavages and Risk in the Platform Economy in Belgium
Autori/Curatori:  Valeria Pulignano, Wim van Lancker 
Anno di pubblicazione:  2021 Fascicolo: 159  Lingua: Inglese 
Numero pagine:  18 P. 71-88 Dimensione file:  225 KB
DOI:  10.3280/SL2021-159004
Il DOI è il codice a barre della proprietà intellettuale: per saperne di più:  clicca qui   qui 

The adoption of digital technologies challenge existing institutional approaches towards labour markets segmentation and dualisation by dissolving the employer-employee nexus. When national governments adapt to digitalisation by deregula-tion they risk to fostering "flexibility at the margin" which can reinforce digital cleavages at the intersection of tasks, skills and new technology. This is because deregulation threatens the existing country-based employment and industrial rela-tions structures by favoring companies fissuring the labour markets while reducing employment protections for all workers. In the paper we illustrate this argument by shedding light on the case of Belgium as one of the countries in Europe with a gen-erous and encompassing system of collective bargaining and strong employees’ representation structures, and which has been experiencing a deregulatory trend in response to digitalisation, following the introduction of the 2016 law "De Croo".

L’adozione delle tecnologie digitali sfida gli approcci istituzionali esistenti verso la segmentazione e la dualizzazione del mercato del lavoro, sciogliendo il nesso tra datore di lavoro e dipendente. Quando i governi nazionali si adattano alla digitalizzazione attraverso la deregolamentazione, rischiano di favorire una "flessibilità al margine" che può rafforzare le scissioni digitali all’intersezione di compiti, competenze e nuove tecnologie. Questo perché la deregolamentazione minaccia le strutture occupazionali e di relazioni industriali esistenti a livello nazionale, favorendo le aziende che fissano i mercati del lavoro e riducendo al contempo le tutele occupazionali per tutti i lavoratori. Nel documento illustriamo questo argomento facendo luce sul caso del Belgio come uno dei paesi europei con un sistema di contrattazione collettiva generoso e completo e con forti strutture di rappresentanza dei lavoratori, che sta vivendo una tendenza alla deregolamentazione in risposta alla digitalizzazione, in seguito all’introduzione della legge del 2016 "De Croo".
Keywords: Dualizzazione, mercato del lavoro, digitalizzazione, Belgio, legge De Croo

  1. Basselier R. Langenus G., and Walravens L. (2018). De opkomst van de deeleconomie. Brussels: NBB Economisch Tijsschrift.
  2. Benassi C., Doellgast V. and Sarmiento-Mirwaldt K. (2016). Institutions and Inequality in Liberalizing Markets: Explaining Different Trajectories of Institutional Change in Social Europe. Politics & Society, 44(1): 117-142.
  3. Berger S., M. Piore (1980). Dualism and Discontinuity in Industrial Societies. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  4. Beynon H., Grimshaw D., Rubery J. and Ward K. (2002). Managing Employment Change: The New Realities of Work. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  5. Biegert T. (2014). On the outside looking in? Transitions out of non-employment in the United Kingdom and Germany. Journal of European Social Policy, 24(1): 3-18.
  6. Blossfeld H.P., Mayer K.U. (1988). Labor market segmentation in the Federal Republic of Germany: An empirical study of segmentation theories from a life course perspective. European Sociological Review, 4(2): 123-140.
  7. Brown W., Bryson A. and Forth J. (2009). Competition and the retreat from collective bargaining. In: William B., Bryson A., Forth J., and Whitfield K., eds., The Evolution of the Modern Workplace. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  8. Charles J., Ferreras I. and Lamine A. (2020). A freelancers’ cooperative as a democratic institutional experiment for better work. A case study of SMart-Belgium. Transfer, 26(2): 157-174., DOI: 10.1177/102425892091968
  9. Crouch C. (2018). Will the Gig Economy Prevail?. London: Polity Press.
  10. Davidsson J., Naczyk M (2009). The ins and outs of dualisation: A literature review. Working Papers on the Reconciliation of Work and Welfare in Europe. REC-WP 02/2009. Edinburgh: RECWOWE Publication, Dissemination and Dialogue Centre.
  11. De Groen W.P., Lenaerts K., Bosc R. and Paquier F. (2017). Impact of Digitalisation and the On-Demand Economy on Labour Markets and the Consequences for Employment and Industrial Relations. Brussels: Study prepared for the European Economic and Social Committee.
  12. Doellgast G., Lillie N. and Pulignano V., eds. (2018). Reconstructing Solidarity: Labour Unions, Precarious Work, and the Politics of Institutional Change in Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  13. Doeringer P., Piore M. (1971). Internal Labor Markets and Manpower Analysis. Lexington, KY: D. C. Heath and Company.
  14. Eichhorst W., Marx P. (2015). Non-standard Employment in post-Industrial Labour Markets. London: Edward and Elgar.
  15. Eichhorst W., Marx P. (2012). Whatever Works: dualisation and the service economy in Bismarckian welfare states. In: Emmenegger P., Häusermann S., Palier B. and Seeleib-Kaiser M., eds., The Age of Dualization: The Changing Face of Inequality in Deindustrializing Societies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  16. Emmenegger P., Häusermann S., Palier B. and Seeleib-Kaiser M., eds. (2012). The Age of Dualization: The Changing Face of Inequality in Deindustrializing Societies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  17. Franke M., Pulignano V. (2020). Connecting at the edge: Cycles of commodification and labour control within food delivery platform work in Belgium. Paper presented at the ILERA and SASE conference 2020.
  18. Grimshaw D., Cartwright J., Keizer A. and Rubery J. (2018). Market exposure and the labour process: The contradictory dynamics in managing subcontracted services work. Work, Employment and Society, 33(1): 76-95.
  19. Häusermann S., Schwander H. (2013). Who is in and who is out? Proposing a risk-based operationalisation of insiders and outsiders. Journal of European Social Policy, 23(3): 248-269.
  20. Houwing H., Vandaele K. (2011). Liberal Convergence, Growing Outcome Divergence? Institutional Continuity and Changing Trajectories in the “Low Countries”. In: Becker U., ed., The Changing Political Economies of Small West European Countries. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.
  21. Kalleberg A. (2009). Precarious Work, Insecure Workers: Employment Relations in Transition. American Sociological Review, 74: 1-22.
  22. Kilhoffer Z., Lenaerts K. (2017). What is happening with platform workers’ rights? Lessons from Belgium. Brussels: Study prepared for the European Economic and Social Committee.
  23. Koene B., Pichault F. (2020). Embedded Fixers, Pragmatic Experimenters, Dedicated Activists: Evaluating Third‐Party Labour Market Actors’ Initiatives for Skilled Project‐Based Workers in the Gig Economy. British Journal of Industrial Relations, --
  24. Lanearts C. (2017). Industrial Relations and Social Dialogue in the Age of Collaborative Economy. IRSDACE.
  25. Levesque C., Murray G. (2010). Understanding Union Power: Resources and Capabilities for Renewing Union Capacity. Transfer, 16(3): 333-350.
  26. Lindbeck A., Snower D.J. (1989). The Insider-Outsider Theory of Employment and Unemployment. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  27. Lukac M., Doerflinger N. and Pulignano P. (2019). Developing a cross-national comparative framework for studying labour market segmentation: Measurement equivalence with latent class analysis. Social Indicators Research. Epub ahead of print 29 March.
  28. Muffels R.J.A., Luijkx R. (2008). Labour market mobility and employment security of male employees in Europe: ‘trade-off’ or ‘flexicurity’. Work, Employment and Society, 22(2): 221-242.
  29. OECD (2019). An Introduction to Online Platforms and Their Role in the Digital Transformation. Paris: OECD Publishing.
  30. Osterman P. (1994). How common is workplace transformation and who adopts it?. ILR Review, 47(2): 173-188.
  31. Paelinck G. (2020). Regeling rond onbelast bijverdienen vernietigd door Grondwettelijk Hof. VRT Nieuws. -- (accessed 8 August, 2020).
  32. Palier B., Thelen K. (2010). Institutionalizing dualism: Complementarities and change in France and Germany. Politics & Society, 38(1): 119-148.
  33. Pulignano V., Doerflinger N. (2013). A head with two tales: Trade unions’ influence on temporary agency work in Belgian and German workplaces. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(22): 4149-4165.
  34. Pulignano V., Signoretti A. (2016). Union strategies, national institutions and the use of temporary labour in Italian and US plants. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 54(3): 574-596.
  35. Pulignano V., Domecka M., Muszyński K., Vermeerbergen L. and Reimann M.L. (2020). Self-employed in Times of COVID. Mimeo.
  36. Pulignano V. (2019). Work in Deregulated Labour Markets: A Research Agenda for Precariousness. ETUI Working Papers Series, 3.
  37. Pulignano V., Doerflinger N. (2013). A head with two tales: Trade unions’ influence on temporary agency work in Belgian and German workplaces. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 24(22): 4149-4165.
  38. Pulignano V., Doerflinger N. (2018a). Expanding social actor-based explanations in labour market dualisation research: A combined macro-micro and micro-macro approach. Employee Relations, 40(1): 75-88.
  39. Pulignano V., Doerflinger N. (2018b). Labour markets, solidarity and precarious work: Comparing local unions’ responses to management flexibility strategies in the German and Belgian metalworking and chemical industries. In: Doellgast V., Lillie N. and Pulignano P., eds, Reconstructing Solidarity: Labour Unions, Precarious Work, and the Politics of Institutional Change in Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press: 104-123.
  40. Robinson H., Vallas S. (2020). The Lived Experience of Risk among Ride-Hailing Drivers in Boston. Paper Presented at the SASE conference, June.
  41. Rosenblat A., Stark L. (2016). Algorithmic Labor and Information Asymmetries: A Case Study of Uber’s Drivers. International Journal of Communication, 10(27): 3758-3784.
  42. Rubery J. (1978). Structured labour markets, worker organisation and low pay. Cambridge Journal of Economics, 2(1): 17-36.
  43. Rubery J. (2007). Developing segmentation theory: A thirty years perspective. Economies et Societés, 41(6): 941-964.
  44. Rubery J., Fagan C. (1995). Comparative industrial relations research: Towards reversing the gender bias. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 33(2): 209-236.
  45. Rueda D. (2014). Dualization, crisis and the welfare state. Socio-Economic Review, 12(2): 381-407.
  46. Saint-Paul G. (1998). A Framework for Analysing the Political Support for Active Labor Market Policy. Journal of Public Economics, 67: 151-165.
  47. Saint-Paul G. (1996). Exploring the Political Economy of Labour Market Institutions. Economic Policy, 23: 264-315.
  48. Schor J.B., Attwood‐Charles W. (2017). ‘The “sharing” economy: labor, inequality, and social connection on for‐profit platforms’. Sociology Compass, 11(8), ttps://
  49. Shapiro A. (2020). Dynamic exploits: calculative asymmetries in the on‐demand economy. New Technology, Work and Employment, 35(2): 162-177.
  50. Thelen K. (2014). Varieties of Liberalization and the New Politics of Social Solidarity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  51. Van Lancker W. (2012). The European World of Temporary Employment: Gendered and Poor?. European Societies, 14(1): 83-111.
  52. Verma A., Kochan T.A. (2004). Introduction. In: Verma A., Kochan T.A., eds, Unions in the 21st Century: Prospects for Renewal. London: Palgrave-MacMillan: 1-16.
  53. Weil D. (2014). The Fissured Workplace: Why Work Became So Bad for So Many and What Can Be Done to Improve It. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  54. Xhauflair V., Huybrechts B. and Pichault F. (2018). How Can New Players Establish Themselves in Highly Institutionalized Labour Markets? A Belgian Case Study in the Area of Project‐Based Work. British Journal of Industrial Relations, 56(2): 370-394.
  55. Yoon Y., Chung H. (2016). New forms of dualization? Labour market segmentation patterns in the UK from the late 1990s until the post crisis in the late 2000s. Social Indicators Research, 128(2): 609-631.

Valeria Pulignano, Wim van Lancker, Divari digitali e rischi nell’economia delle piattaforme in Belgio in "SOCIOLOGIA DEL LAVORO " 159/2021, pp. 71-88, DOI:10.3280/SL2021-159004


FrancoAngeli è membro della Publishers International Linking Association associazione indipendente e no profit per facilitare l'accesso degli studiosi ai contenuti digitali nelle pubblicazioni professionali e scientifiche