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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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.
The ETUC has welcomed the consultation with social partners on the revision of the Written Statement Directive. Trade unions and employers have until 3 November to react to the proposals to amend the Directive which sets out what information employees should be entitled to when they start work. The ETUC is pleased that the planned changes will mean that workers in general will be covered ensuring some protection for workers in the gig economy or "employed" by platform operators like Uber. The ETUC also hopes that the proposals on minimum hours and probation periods will be clarified and
The ETUC has welcomed the report from the European Parliament's Employment Committee which exposes the impact of Troika policies on Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus. Apart from the failed economic policies and devastating social impacts, the Committee report and the ETUC evidence to the Committee highlighted the attacks on wages, collective bargaining and wage determination systems as well as the Troika's failure to undertake meaningful consultations with trade unions. [Read more at ETUC (EN)->http://www.etuc.org/press/etuc-welcomes-eu-parliament-report-denouncing-dire-social-consequences