Protection and the rights of employees are at the heart of the EU's package of measures.

VS – 12/2021

The EC presented a comprehensive package of measures covering platform employment on December 9, 2021. The aim is to create a pan-European framework for access to social protection and labour rights for platform workers and to provide legal security for platform operators and workers. The aim is to reap the benefits of the digital transformation and protect the European social market economy. The EC is also seeking to make solo self-employed workers eligible for collective bargaining. This will also include the self-employed who are active on digital working platforms.

Proposal for a Directive covering the improvement of working conditions in platform working

In its proposal for a Directive, the EC has presented a list of criteria for determining the employment status of platform workers. They are based on decisions of the European Court of Justice (ECJ). If a platform meets two of these criteria, it is legally presumed that the platform acts as an employer and its platform employees are its workers. These platform employees will then be subject to regulations covering working time and health protection, the right to paid leave or improved access to protection against accidents at work, compulsory social insurance that includes entitlement to unemployment and sickness benefits. Platforms can challenge this classification, whereby the burden of proving that there is no employment relationship lies with the platforms.

The proposed directive also regulates the use of algorithms by digital working platforms. Key aspects here are increased transparency in their application and the right to challenge automated decisions. These rights apply to all platform employees, regardless of their employee status. The existing obligations to notify the national authorities about the work have also been clarified.

Commission notification about "Better working conditions for a stronger social Europe: Harnessing the benefits of digitisation for the future of work"

The notification sets out the EU's concept and actions regarding platform working. This notification also acts as a European input point for discussing future global standards for platform employment. Member States, social partners and all relevant stakeholders are also invited to propose specific measures for improving platform working conditions.

Tariff eligibility for solo self-employed

The draft guidelines clarifying the application of EU competition law to collective agreements for solo self-employed aim to ensure that EU competition law does not preclude collective agreements for solo self-employed regarding their working conditions and remuneration. The guidelines are binding on the Commission regarding its subsequent interpretation and enforcement of the EU competition rules.

Next steps

The Commission's proposal for a Directive to improve platform working conditions is now being discussed by the European Parliament and the Council. Once adopted, member states will have two years to transpose the Directive into national law.

The EC has launched a public consultation about the draft guidelines for applying EU competition law with a deadline of February 24, 2022. The draft guidelines will then be adopted by the EC.