SER advisory report

How does the platform economy work?

Abstract of advisory report. This exploratory study of the platform economy examines the nature and position of platform companies, the position of platform workers, and enforcement regarding false self-employment. The Social and Economic Council (“the Council”) carried out the study in response to a motion by the Dutch House of Representatives.

Platform companies

Online platforms are part of the increasingly digitalising economy and organise the matching of supply and demand for goods and services. Platforms are a relatively young phenomenon. They came into being through use of the Internet by companies and private individuals and were given a boost above all by the introduction of the smartphone. In the absence of an unambiguous definition of platforms, this study has opted for a scope in terms of content. We limit ourselves here to commercial platforms and discuss them first in broad terms, after which we focus on work platforms.