Progress as European Commission delivers protections for platform workers
Many of the calls from trade unions are answered as draft directive outlines how platforms will be held to account
Today, December 9 2021, the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on improving working conditions in platform work was announced by the European Commission. This document, aiming to “improve the working conditions in platform work and to support the sustainable growth of digital labour platforms in the EU” is welcomed by Eurocadres as a positive step towards the protection of workers, including professionals and managers, from exploitation by large platform companies. However some issues remain, as the presumption of employment criteria must not be a burden to workers and the definition of "digital labour platforms" must not become a loophole for platforms.
–Today’s announcement is a testament to the work done by trade unions throughout the European Union, and a strong statement to platforms: We will always work to protect workers from exploitation by multinationals.
Many of our demands, previously outlined to the European Commision, have been met with this draft text, including the presumption of employment status for platform workers, the right to representation and transparency in the use of algorithms by digital labour platforms.
Reacting to the Commission’s communication, Eurocadres President Nayla Glaise noted that: “While overdue, today’s announcement is a testament to the work done by trade unions throughout the European Union, and a strong statement to platforms: We will always protect workers from exploitation by multinationals”. Trade unions, who pushed for greater protection, improved dialogue and minimum standards for platform workers, can be proud of our efforts. For Eurocadres, it is critical that this applies for platforms workers both online and on-location, ensuring platform professionals and managers (software development, AI training, encoding data, translation work, tagging pictures, IT or design projects) were included in this text ”.
While the criteria for presumption of employment will need revisions during the negotiation period, the move to legislate against exploitation of workers, assurances in algorithmic transparency, and improved enforcement through clarifying existing obligations to declare work to national authorities are welcomed steps from the European Commission.