EU employment ministers bow to corporate lobbies on platform work
Today, EU employment ministers met in Luxembourg to agree their negotiating position that will affect the rights of millions of platform workers.
The compromise agreement reached by the Council significantly waters down not only the Parliament’s position, but also the original proposal from the Commission, by allowing platforms like Uber and Deliveroo to continue exploiting workers under the guise of bogus self employment.
The text agreed by the Council today creates a higher threshold to determine who is employed by the digital platforms – potentially stripping millions of workers of basic rights such as sick pay, holiday pay and parental leave.
Left MEP Leïla Chaibi said: “The Council’s pro-Uber position agreed this morning is the opposite of that taken by the European Parliament last February, and is even contrary to the European Commission’s proposals. I am particularly disappointed to know that it was France that pushed for such a bad agreement that flies in the face of the interests of workers.
“This position is unacceptable for the European Parliament, which will fully exercise its role as co-legislator during the trilogues in the coming weeks. During these negotiations, the Parliament will defend the spirit of the directive from the Council which has clearly bowed to pressure from Uber and other lobbies. Platform workers across Europe can count on the European Parliament to deliver a directive that protects them.”
According to the general approach agreed upon today, workers will only be legally presumed to be employees of a digital platform if their relationship with the platform fulfils at least three of the seven criteria set out in the directive. These criteria include:
- where the platform can put a cap on the amount of money workers earn
- restrictions on their ability to turn down work
- rules governing their appearance or conduct
According to recent estimates, 5.5 million people are bogusly classified as self-employed in the EU. To deny so many people basic rights is an outrage. The Left is ready to fight for workers’ rights throughout the next stages of the negotiations.
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