The consequences of digitization and Industry 4.0 for employers are an important topic at this year’s f ederal conference of the DGB (German Trade Union Association). In his opening speech , the DGB chair Reiner Hoffmann criticized the fact that platforms based on the Internet are widely refusing to accept their role as employers. He also pointed to the situation of many self-employed sole traders who have to follow instruction and work almost exclusively for a single client – through this form of bogus self-employment, such employers are committing social security fraud. Digitization is often used as a tool for exploitation in this respect.
The fact that digitization will lead to e normous changes in the employment market is also confirmed by an IAB survey , although the authors estimate that the loss of many jobs will largely be offset by the creation of new posts. Among the trade unions, there is a widespread concern that the impending revolution could be used by employers to shirk their social responsibility, which will ultimately make employment more precarious.