Belgium to implement proposed directive on platform work in advance
Mandatory accident insurance and determination of employment status based on eight criteria
VS – 02/2022
The Belgian government presented a labour
market reform on 15 February. Part of the reform package includes new
requirements for determining the employment status of platform workers and
their occupational health and safety. In presenting its reform package, the
government explicitly referred to the European Commission's proposal for a
Directive on Improvement of Working Conditions of Platform Workers (see also
DSV News and Opinion).
Determination of employment status – legal presumption
The European Commission has proposed that
the determination of the employment status should be based on the actual
employment relationship and not the contractual agreement. The determination is
to be made on the basis of a legal presumption using five criteria set forth in
the proposed directive. Although Belgium follows the European Commission here,
it still wants to add three more criteria. Accordingly, a presumption of
dependent employment is made if three of the eight criteria are met.
In case of contradiction, the burden of proof lies with the digital labour platform
The digital labour platform may appeal
against the presumption of employment status. Analogous to the European
Commission's proposal for a directive, the burden of proof should lie with the
employer. Also, the appeal should not have a suspensive effect on the application
of the legal presumption.
Mandatory accident insurance
Currently, platform workers are mostly not
covered against occupational accidents. Under the Belgian government's reform
package, platform workers must be insured against occupational accidents,
regardless of the employment status, with insurance coverage paid for by the
digital labour platform.
The rights of the self-employed should also
be strengthened. For example, digital labour platforms should no longer be able
to demand exclusivity from an independent platform worker. This allows
self-employed platform workers to work as drivers for competing platforms at
the same time and choose the best offer for them in each case.
forthcoming parliamentary procedure, the proposed measures must be implemented
in concrete laws or ordinances and their practical application must be
determined. In this context, the social partners are also heard.