• IMG_0021
  • Conf. On Digitalisation_IJ_1930

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.


European Commission. New Report on Working Conditions of Platform Workers

[European Commission, 13 December 2019]. Study to gather evidence on the working conditions of platform workers. Final Report by CEPS, EFTHEIA, and HIVA-KU Leuven.
The main challenges identified in the study include employment status, information available to the workers about their working conditions, dispute resolution, collective rights and non-discrimination. The study details the variety of policy responses in the Member States and explores how existing EU law helps to address the challenges identified.

European Commission, White Paper on Artificial Intelligence

[Brussels, 19.2.2020 COM(2020) 65 final]. With this White Paper and the accompanying Report on the safety and liability framework, the Commission launches a broad consultation of Member States civil society, industry and academics, of concrete proposals for a European approach to ArtificiaI Intelligence.


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)