EU agrees plan to boost conditions for app based “gig” workers
The European Parliament and EU member states have struck a deal on rules to strengthen conditions for those working through apps, such as ride-hailing drivers.
Under the new law, many platform workers in Europe could be reclassified as employees and therefore gain access to labour and social protection rights, the parliament said.
At least 5.5 million people could be “wrongly classified as self-employed”, the parliament said.
There are around 28 million gig workers dependent on online platforms in Europe, and the number is expected to rise to 43 million in 2025.
“This is a revolutionary agreement and the first legislative framework for digital platform workers,” said MEP Elisabetta Gualmini, the rapporteur who spearheaded the text in parliament.
“We have transparency and accountability for algorithms, we have better rights for the least protected workers in the world and we have fair competition for platforms,” she added.
The rules stipulate that if a worker fulfils two out of five “indicators of control or direction”, it will be presumed that they are an employee.
The EU’s member states can expand the list. Workers can lobby EU member states to expand the list as well.
The rules also say platform workers should be able to access information on how an app’s algorithms work and how their behaviour affects decisions taken by automated systems.
And no platform will be able to sack workers or suspend accounts without human oversight, the parliament said.
There are also stricter rules on personal data, forbidding platforms to process data including personal beliefs and private exchanges with colleagues.
The EU’s jobs and social rights commissioner, Nicolas Schmit, welcomed the agreement.
“Riders and drivers will get social and labour rights they are entitled to. Platforms will gain legal certainty,” Schmit said on social media.
The text will become law once formally adopted by member states and the parliament.