With rules differing widely among European countries, there is a major opportunity for the EU to step in and protect gig-economy workers with the basic rights afforded to other workers, as enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the EU and in line with the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Following a process of engagement with gig-economy workers, trade unions and experts in labour law, the Left group in the European Parliament presents the text of an EU directive on Digital Platform Workers.

The notion of flexible work, independence and autonomy promised by the gig economy has failed to materialise. The typical gig worker does anything but ‘gigs’ for digital platforms. Millions of Europeans depend on this work for their livelihoods. Many, despite working excessive hours under poor working conditions, still struggle to earn decent wages and have no social safety-net. Digital platforms have been let off the hook not only on taxation—as they deprive public coffers of billions of euro, vital for public services—but also, crucially, on granting workers their due entitlements.