Changes needed to protect digital labour platform workers
As part of the second-stage consultation of European social partners, we reaffirm the need for further EU action to ensure basic labour standards and rights to platforms’ workers.
Following the first consultation stage (concluding on April 7), Eurocadres have notified the European Commission of the changes we deem necessary to protect the professionals and managers (P&M) engaged in platform work. Often P&M cover areas such as software development, AI training, encoding data, translation work, IT and design, with the nature of these tasks often meaning their difficult working conditions are not recognised.
With the Commission’s consultation open to social partners until September 15, the next steps are likely to be the presentation of a proposal by the European Commission by the end of 2021. Crucially, the Commission has noted they have no intention of creating a ‘third' employment status (neither self-employed, nor worker) at the EU level. Eurocadres have called for the following actions:
- Introduction of an EU Directive to achieve fair working conditions for platform workers, guaranteeing a strong presumption of employment relationship and the reversal of the burden of proof for platforms.
- Ensuring platform workers receive social and wage protection in accordance with national legislation or collective agreement.
- Guarantees for legal employment status, with recognition of platforms as employers. This will require binding European initiatives on employment status to facilitate cross-border work.
- Reporting obligations for employers, which are essential for strengthening enforcement, collective representation and social dialogue.
- Fairness, transparency and accountability in algorithmic management through the role of workers’ representatives in the algorithm management and data control at the workplace. Workers’ representatives should be informed and consulted on the algorithm management and data collected and have a right to expertise the impact of the algorithm and data on the work organisation.
The time is right for the Commission to take decisive action on the protection of platform workers
Speaking on the importance of Eurocadres’ input to the consultation process, Nayla Glaise, who has been responsible for the position in the Eurocadres Presidium, stated:
“The time is right for the Commission to take decisive action on the protection of platform workers, with the COVID-19 crisis calling into question our current models of worker protection. This consultation offers social partners an opportunity to represent professionals and managers pressing need for an EU directive, address the misclassification of employment status and ensure pan-European social and wage protections”.
In addition, the European Commission announced that the initiative on Improving the working conditions in platform work will be launched on December 8, 2021. Eurocadres’ will continue to liaise with the Commission on this issue throughout the consultation review process. Our input to the consultation can be read in full here.