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The rise and growth of the gig economy in the Netherlands


Publication: 2018-37
Authors: Bas ter Weel, Siemen van der Werff, Hanneke Bennaars (HSI), Robert Scholte, Julie Fijnje, Mies Westerveld (HSI) & Ton Mertens (UvA)
Commissioned by: Ministerie van Sociale Zaken en Werkgelegenheid
Published by: SEO Amsterdam Economics
ISBN: 978-90-6733-913-1

The rise and growth of the gig economy raises the question of to what extent this work is new or different compared to traditional work. Companies and governments see opportunities when consumers and companies find new ways of providing services and when idle capacity is being utilised.

This, for example, includes food delivery, passenger transport, and professional and domestic services (such as cleaning) through platforms. In the gig economy, supply and demand are brought together more efficiently with innovative technology by relatively young companies. At the same time, a number of questions arise with regard to what the gig economy is exactly; how big the phenomenon is or can potentially become; and to what extent this entails new forms of working. It is not always clear how the work should be defined in terms of labour law, social security law, or tax law. 

This research defines and examines the state of affairs with regard to the size and potential of the gig economy in the Netherlands, the work practice, and the implications in terms of labour law, social security law, and tax law. The research is a benchmark study which describes how existing and new platforms can be interpreted and what the implications are in terms of policy. It is based on a relatively narrow definition of the gig economy, involving workers who perform physical labour in the Netherlands and who obtain assignments primarily through online platforms (an appor website). In this report, the relevant companies in this market are referred to as platforms, and the people working are referred to as workers. The ultimate consumers of a service are denoted as customers or consumers.


Category: 2018, Bas ter Weel, Siemen van der Werff, Robert Scholte, Labour & Education