Brussels, 4 December 2015 – In light of their Sectoral Social Dialogue plenary session held on 4 December 2015, HOTREC and EFFAT issued a joint statement on the sharing economy, calling for a level playing field that ensures fair competition among all the service providers in the tourism sector. In the context of their 2016-2017 work programme, the social partners will continue to exchange views on the common concerns and challenges the sharing economy poses for consumers, employees and businesses.
At their various social dialogue meetings in 2014 and 2015, EFFAT and HOTREC representatives have expressed concern about the emergence and rapid – and often uncontrolled and unregulated – expansion of the "sharing economy" in the hospitality industry/tourism sector. For this reason, the official EU social partners in the hospitality industry decided to join forces and discuss how the sharing economy is affecting businesses and employment in the tourism sector.
"Companies in the tourism sector, the vast majority of which are micro-sized enterprises, find themselves subject to tight regulations in all countries, both ensuring the health and safety and security of consumers and protecting the rights and obligations of employees working in any hospitality establishment”, according to Christian de Barrin, CEO of HOTREC.
"In many cases, complying with tight regulations raises the price of the service provided, but it also ensures a safe working environment for employees and a guaranteed high-quality service for consumers", added Jean-Marc Banquet d’Orx, Chair of the HOTREC Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee.
"Established enterprises in the hospitality industry must comply with labour regulations, including collective agreements, and make sure that any worker employed in the sector has all the rights and obligations required by law", said EFFAT General Secretary Harald Wiedenhofer, concluding: "We fear that the rise in accommodation services being offered on a commercial basis through sharing-economy platforms might result in a decline in regular employment and in a growing number of unofficial jobs being created, thereby increasing precarious and undeclared work and unfair competition."
EFFAT and HOTREC call on the public authorities to gather data on the impact of the sharing economy on businesses and employment in the tourist industry and to also ensure that all the service providers in the sector comply with the relevant legislation.