5 May 2017

Digitalisation of the labour market - two main trends and social partner responses

The discussion on digitalization of work has intensified in recent years. The literature points at two main trends that are accelerated by digitalization – the automatization of work which erases or changes job functions and the creation of work without jobs via digital platforms.  This paper addresses the question as to how social partners define the digitalization of work and their perception of its consequences along with their recent responses to digitalization. Drawing on interviews with unions and employers ́ organizations in Denmark, Sweden and Germany, it examines social partner initiatives at the unilateral, tripartite and bipartite arena in various forms of neo-corporatist labour market regulation. Focus is on private services, which is the sector that is currently under the strongest pressure from automatization and the trend of work without jobs. Whereas the social partners seem to be very active on the unilateral arena in all three countries, responses differ on the tripartite and bipartite arena. The article concludes by discussing the strengths and weaknesses of the responses compared to current trends of digitalization and existing models of labour market regulation.

The paper The digitalisation of service work – social partner responses in Denmark, Sweden and Germany is published in Transfer: European Review of Labour and Research.

Download the electronic version here