Like in all Westernised countries, the digital economy in the Netherlands has been on the rise for several years. The Netherlands itself have become one of the centres of this world, as several digital companies have already established their global or European headquarters in the Netherlands, such as Google, Booking.com and Uber, among others. This has led to further platformisation on the labour market where an increasing number of people are entering into labour relations for casual work that they have found on the Internet. Given its nature, this kind of work may create legal questions for the parties in such contracts as well as for society as a whole. This chapter will provide a quick scan of the actual situation of platform work in the Netherlands.
For the sake of this chapter, ‘platform work’ is defined as ‘all labour provided through, on or mediated by online platforms in a wide range of sectors where work can be of varied forms and is provided in exchange for payment’. ‘Platform economy’ is defined as ‘the economy, comprising, involving and resulting from these digital platforms’. Currently, a number of tasks in the digital economy are recruited via Internet platforms. A platform ensures that buyers and providers of a mini-job who do not know each other physically can now be connected.
MAPPING THE MINI-JOB ECONOMY AND PLATFORM WORK IN THE NETHERLANDS
It is not easy to generate an accurate impression of the share of platform work in the Dutch labour market. There have been international studies concerning the size of crowd work , the ‘mini-job economy’ (in Dutch often called Kluseconomie), the platform economy and platform work, among others. Research on the platformisation of work was conduction in 2016 – 2019. According to that survey, it could be estimated that for some 270,000 inhabitants of the Netherlands, platform work is the primary source of income.
Another research project, the COLLEEM survey, published in 2018, estimated for the Netherlands the amount of those individuals who are ‘predominantly’ platform workers (i.e. those who earn 50% or more of their income via platforms and/or work via platforms for more than 20 hours a week) to be about 3% of the adult population, which would mean 400,000 individuals.