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Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  22 February 2022

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Summary

The idea for this book came about when we met in Milan in 2018 and, over a Milanese Veal Cutlet and a glass of red wine, we were discussing the phenomenon of platform work – then in its infancy, but which would soon explode throughout Europe – and the legal status and protections platform workers should be granted. At the time, it seemed that platform work was confined to marginal sectors of the labour market (the riders in the food delivery sector and the drivers of taxi-hailing services) and involved a small portion of the national labour markets. However, it quickly spread to many other forms of work (from baby-sitting and dog-sitting to doing small household chores, to cleaning services, shopping services and grocery delivery, to name just a few), gradually involving – partially due to the pandemic – an increasing number of workers.

After that first conversation, a seminar was held in Milan in October 2019 that was attended by the authors of the contributions collected in this book. That exchange of opinions, which highlighted many similarities between European legal systems, gave rise to the idea for this volume, which – thanks to the time that has passed – is much richer in content than the reports originally presented at the Milan seminar. Judges have intervened in all (or almost all) the legal systems in recent years, and in some legal systems even the legislators have intervened, to classify and, to some extent, protect platform workers, which will be clear from reading the national reports.

This book contains a number of national reports (Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain and the United Kingdom), other more transversal reports dealing with the issue of fundamental (collective) workers’ rights, as well as the applicable European legal framework. The conclusions focus on a comparison of the legal systems analysed in the national reports.

However, an analysis of ‘work via platform’ inevitably requires jurists to go further, to ask themselves a crucial question: is the notion of subordinate work, as it emerged and was consolidated during the 20th century, still able to encompass and provide workers in this new millennium with suitable protection ?

Type
Chapter
Information
Platform Work in Europe
Towards Harmonisation?
, pp. 1 - 4
Publisher: Intersentia
Print publication year: 2021

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