EU issues draft rules to improve gig workers' rights

The burden of proving employment status is left on the employer

EU issues draft rules to improve gig workers' rights

The European Commission has unveiled the draft rules that seek to give gig economy workers employee benefits, such as minimum wage, sick pay, and holidays. The draft rules are expected to cover 4.1 million of the 28 million workers of online platform countries across the European Union, Reuters reported. According to the commission, the directive brings out a list of criteria that will determine if a platform is an employer.

"If the platform meets at least two of those criteria, it is legally presumed to be an employer. The people working through them would therefore enjoy the labour and social rights that come with the status of "worker,'" said the commission in their media release.

Benefits provided to workers would include the right to a minimum wage, collective bargaining, working time and health protection, the right to paid leave or improved access to protection against work accidents, unemployment and sickness benefits, as well as contributory old-age pensions. The commission said that the burden of proving the employment status would rest on the platform employers instead of the gig workers themselves.

Nicolas Schmit, commissioner for jobs and social rights, said the proposal sets clear criteria to establish whether a platform is an employer, which makes their workers entitled to social protection and labour rights.

"We must make the most of the job-creating potential of digital platforms. But we should also make sure that they are quality jobs, that don't promote precariousness, so people working through them have security and can plan for their future," said Schmit.

"Technological progress must be fair and inclusive, which is why the proposal also addresses transparency and oversight of platforms' algorithms."

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