After a long night of negotiations, the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission reached an agreement on the platform workers directive.

While the agreement is far from the ambitious mandate of the European Parliament, it is however an important step forward in guaranteeing rights for workers in the gig economy – drivers, riders and those working for digital platforms.

Today’s agreement is the result of four years of workers’ struggle and a parliamentary battle led by Left MEP Leïla Chaibi (France Insoumise).

“Until the last moment, the Uber and Deliveroo lobbies worked behind the scenes to sabotage this directive. I would have liked this agreement to be more ambitious, but we held on, Uber has not made its law in Europe” says Chaibi.

The final political discussions revolved mainly around the thorny question of the employment status of workers for platforms such as Uber, Deliveroo or Glovo. As many are bogusly misclassified as self-employed, this means that they do not enjoy basic rights that they should be entitled to.

According to this morning’s agreement, digital platforms will have the burden of proving that those working for them are not employees. This reversal is an important win for workers, by putting the burden where it belongs: in future it will be up to the platform to provide proof that the worker is independent.

The agreement also includes important provisions on collective rights. Once one platform worker is reclassified as an employee, the national authorities will have the obligation to ensure that the other workers on the platform are not also falsely self-employed. This opens the door to employee status – paid leave, retirement, social security, etc. – for millions of workers in Europe.

The agreed text will now have to be formally adopted by both Parliament and Council to enter into force.

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