29 June 2018

Voluntarist regulation of the digital economy

With a digitally connected population and heavy public investment in digitising government services, Denmark is considered a ‘digital frontrunner’, and well prepared for economic and labour market changes associated with the fourth industrial revolution. In an article in the book 'Work in the digital age', lecturer Anna Ilsøe argues that digital development in the labor market can lead to changes in the Danish collective bargaining model, where the voluntarist approach still stands at the core of the system, with legislation playing only a limited role.

The article argues that it is possible to adapt the voluntarist approach to the digital development, but that it may become necessary for more involvement of legislators for instance in the form of tripartite negotiations where the state, in cooperation with the social partners, finds solutions to the challenges posed by digital development.

Thus, the article emphasizes the need for both employer and employee organizations to take initiatives to solve the challenges posed by digitalization within the framework of the collective bargaining system, and that the state takes responsibility for example for initiating and facilitating tripartite negotiations in this area.

Read the full chapter ’Denmark - Progressing the voluntarist approach’ on page 275 in the book 'Work in the digital age'.