MEPs support full rights for platform workers

The European Parliament has taken an important step towards ending bogus self-employment and precariousness in digital labour platforms.

Delivery riders, cab drivers, content creators, programmers, click-workers, engineers and carers are among 28 million workers who would benefit from the provisions in the Employment Committee’s report which passed its plenary vote today.

MEPs voted to end the system of false self-employment used by platform companies to cut costs at the detriment of workers’ pay and conditions.

The vote followed an ETUC  action in favour of fair platform work  near the European Parliament.

The measures in the report adopted today would deliver: 

- The right of workers to a proper employment contract, which would ensure they finally receive  rights such as paid sick leave, paid holiday and rates of pay according to national legislation or collective agreements.

- Protecting the freedom in the market of genuine self-employed workers.

- Fair competition between companies, ensuring those which respect the law aren’t disadvantaged.

These measures would prevent Europe’s social model being eroded by a spiral of downward competition based on evasion of labour, tax and social obligations.

Progress now rests on the European Council. During the Czech presidency, the Council  rejected a proposal heavily influenced by platform lobbyists which would have rendered the ‘presumption of employment’ meaningless for  workers.

The ETUC thanks the European Parliament rapporteurs for their hard work and urges the Council to adopt a proposal which matches the ambition shown today by the European Parliament.

ETUC Confederal Secretary Ludovic Voet said:

“For too long, platform companies run by multimillionaires have been using loopholes in the law to escape their most basic obligations to their workforce and society.

“The explosion of false self-employment has left millions of people working longer for less, disadvantaged the majority of businesses which play by the rules and impoverished our public services through unpaid taxes.

“Today’s vote is an important step towards restoring security at work, ensuring fairness in the economy and protecting the European social model.”