The Left group in the European Parliament is putting forward the text for an EU directive to grant rights and recognition to digital platform workers in the so-called gig economy.

Spearheaded by MEP Leïla Chaibi (France Insoumise, France), the directive gives predictability to platform workers like maximum periods of work, minimum rest periods, remuneration, overtime pay, and health and safety.

Today at 15:30 CET, MEP Chaibi will hold a bilateral meeting with Commissioner for Employment Nicolas Schmit to hand him the directive and explain the text with a request that the Commission puts forward the proposal for Parliament to legislate.

The 11-article directive also calls for transparency over the controversial role of algorithms in pressuring workers and damaging their well-being.

The Covid-19 pandemic accentuated the plight of gig economy workers, who took to the front-lines despite lacking the protection afforded to other workers and a social net. The need for recognition of platform workers as contracted employees have been reaffirmed by court rulings in Paris, Madrid and Rome.

“This is an unusual approach within the EU institutions,” Leïla Chaibi said in reference to her initiative to draft the actual text of the directive, “I couldn’t sit back and wait for a proposal from the Commission that would not come.

“In collaboration with leading experts on the phenomenon of uberisation, I wrote this directive to protect digital platform workers. The European Parliament does not have the right of legislative initiative and must work on the basis of the Commission’s proposals.

“I propose that the Commission goes ahead with my proposal for a directive, as this will save time, because time is running out!”

MEP Leïla Chaibi will be Live on Facebook today at 5:30 pm to report back on her meeting with Commissioner Schmit.

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