Employee contract for 5 million drivers: first approval to EU directive on digital platforms

Stop fake self-employed people working for companies like Uber and Deliveroo. And in general, more rights for riders and drivers, regardless of contract format. These are some of the key points of the text that the European Parliament voted today in Brussels, which amends the EU Commission’s proposal on the directive on working conditions in digital platforms.

burden of proof

The main innovation introduced by the Eurochamber, which will likely be the subject of conflict with some Member States, is the so-called reversal of the burden of proof regarding the employment status of workers in this sector: to combat the phenomenon of the fake self-employed, proving that his job is secondary in case of a legal dispute between the worker and the company. one should no longer be a rider, but it is up to the platform to clarify that any form of collaboration does not fall under the parameters. employee job.

How to recognize fake self-employed

To avoid gray areas, Parliament has more clearly enumerated the following criteria: a fixed salary, defined working hours, the existence of systems for classifying, monitoring or supervising the worker, rules about appearance or behavior, limited employment options for third parties, or accident insurance or pension scheme. limited freedom of choice. In addition, the text states that self-employed workers should be guaranteed the opportunity to adjust their working hours without interference from the customer and in line with their needs.

political conflict

By some calculations, a reversal of the burden of proof could lead to around 5 million new hires on worker contracts out of the 28 million people currently employed as self-employed on digital platforms in the EU. Underlining the European associations, a large proportion of these recruits should be of interest to riders. This happens when Parliament’s proposal becomes law and the platforms decide to adapt without countermeasures. The text will now need to be negotiated with the governments of the 27 member states, where resistance to reversing the burden of proof (and pressure from industry lobbies) seems to have found fertile ground. Moreover, even in the Eurochamber, the consensus was not very broad: the Italian centre-right, for example, split, with the Brothers of Italy and the League voting in favour, and Forza Italia instead rejecting the offer. Critics of the text argue that a crackdown on fake self-employed could lead the platforms to cut staff, with negative consequences for employment.

Rights and algorithms

Another aspect of the divide within Parliament and between the Eurochamber and some EU governments is the part of the text in which States are asked to guarantee the self-employed the same rights as workers: unemployment, health and accident insurance and access. for collective bargaining. Another important point of the directive concerns the use of algorithms in personnel management: Parliament “requires that automated systems not make important decisions and that Member States guarantee human oversight of all decisions that significantly affect working conditions”. Platforms will need to “provide workers with information about how tracking is used and how it affects their employment relationship, health, safety and working conditions, as well as account closures, promotions or assignments.” Platforms will also “be responsible for assessing the impact on working conditions, health and safety, and fundamental rights of decisions made or supported by automated monitoring and decision-making systems.”

Source: Today IT