‘Festina Lente’: The ILO and EU Agendas on the Digital Transformation of Work
International Journal of Comparative Labour Law and Industrial Relations, Vol. 37, No 1
30 Pages Posted: 7 Nov 2020 Last revised: 8 Mar 2021
Date Written: 2021
This article compares the International Labour Organization (ILO) and European Union (EU) agendas concerning the digital transformation of work, and addresses possible policy gaps and their implications for international and EU labour law. It critically reviews the current social acquis of both institutions and concentrates on the key analogies between the ILO’s Centenary Declaration for the Future of Work and some of the various regulatory initiatives taken by EU institutions in the context of the Pillar of Social Rights. The article finds that, despite the often articulated calls for urgent and original measures, both institutions’ programs present largely a prudent continuation of traditional narratives, failing to strengthen the adequacy of existing labour regulation regimes. Besides their predominantly non-binding nature, the efficacy of the most future-oriented instruments is profoundly undermined by the unreasonable exclusion of those workers who bear most of the brunt of social disparities accelerated by digitization and casualization of work. Also, the implementation of these initiatives may be jeopardized by complex governance methods and never soothed tensions between conflicting approaches and objectives. The study concludes that, although positive signs are emerging in the supranational legal order, much remains to be done to address the multifarious challenges brought about by the digital transformation.
Keywords: International Labour Organization, European Union, European Social Law, Digital Transformation Platform Work, Social Policy, Future of Work, Labour Regulation
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