The European Parliament (EP) has backed proposals to prevent platform companies from forcing workers into false self-employment and denying them rights to minimum wages, holiday and sick pay, and a secure employment contract. In recent years platform companies have lost a string of court cases over false self-employment, with the latest in the Netherlands where judges ruled “the legal relationship between Uber and these drivers meets all the characteristics of an employment contract.” The EP report supports a rebuttable presumption of an employment relationship for platform companies and reversal of the burden of proof. It also argues that establishing a new EU so-called third status between worker and self-employed person should not be considered. The proposals echo those made by the ETUC in its reply to the second stage of the European Commission’s consultation on action over working conditions in platform work.
ETUC welcomes European Parliament report on rights of platform workers
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The ETUC says that the proposed directive on platform work should deliver rights to platform workers, like paid holiday and sick pay, which have been standard for other workers for the best part of a century. The directive provides the possibility to ensure that platform workers get a secure contract and guaranteed wages rather than the fake self-employment with no protection, no pay between jobs or sick pay. The Directive can also ensure genuinely self-employed people are protected from subordination by platforms. The ETUC is concerned, however, that following heavy lobbying by the major
In February this year, the Supreme Court in the UK ruled that Uber, the driving, and delivery platform, should treat its drivers as workers and not as self-employed. This follows a trend across Europe where courts in several countries have forced digital platforms to revise the employment relationship with the workers providing their services. Platform work is changing the economic and social landscape, revolutionising the way services are delivered while raising major questions about social and labour rights.