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About the project

The Irel project encompasses three cases of digital transformation that show different implications for work patterns and industrial relations:

“Irel- Smarter Industrial Relations to Address New Technological Challenges in the World of Work” (March 2019 to February 2021), Co-funded by the European Commission, DG EMPL, under the Budget Heading Improving Expertise in the Field of Industrial Relations.

It pursues three main goals: to analize the way in which industrial relations players and practices are coping with the problems that arise from the transformation of employment patterns prompted by technological innovation; to promote transnational dialogue, exchange of information and benchmarking of best practices; to put forward policy proposals aimed at providing innovative and effective solutions to the problems of collective representation and regulation of employment relations in digitized workplaces. 

The “digital transformation” of production processes poses landmark challenges for the organization of the workplace and the related employment patterns. Such challenges call into question the regulatory role of industrial relations and the capacity of social partners to promote fair working conditions along with a smooth adjustment of companies to the new determinants of competitiveness.

Industry 4.0 represents a world in which virtual and physical systems of manufacturing  cooperate globally with each other in a flexible way, to offer highly customized products and services, and this has a profound impact on employment relations.

Platform work is a form of employment that uses online platforms to match the supply and demand for labour. The types of work offered through platforms are ever-increasing, giving rise to significant challenges for existing regulatory frameworks.

Smart work is a new model of working adopting information technology to allow work to take place “anytime, anywhere” and to balance personal needs, space, time and responsibility, with a view to improving employee performance and job satisfaction.

New Country Reports Out!

[31 July 2020] The National Reports on Platform Work for Germany, Italy and Poland have been posted and can be consulted and downloaded in the Archive section of this site. The reports illustrate and comment on the recent developments concerning platform workers on the regulatory and collective representation arenas, and address the challenges ahead for social partners and policy makers in the two countries.
New country reports are forthcoming and will be posted in September.

European Social Partner Framework Agreement on Digitalisation

[Brussels 23 June 2020]. The European Social Partners adopted the Framework Agreement on Digitalisation at the Tripartite Social Summit on 23 June 2020. The Agreement addresses the following topics: Digital Skills, Artificial Intelligence and Human-in-Control principle; Right to disconnect.


ContacT us

With the economic contribution of the European Commission
Agreement n. VS/2019/0081
With the economic contribution of the European Commission Agreement n. VS/2019/0081

Marco Biagi Foundation is a lead applicant of the European Project “iRel-Smarter Industrial Relations to Address New Technological Challenges in the World of Work”

Phone number: +059 205 6042

Email: irelproject@gmail.com

Address: Largo Marco Biagi, 10, 41121 Modena (Italy)