The European Commission's draft guidelines on the application of EU competition
law to collective agreements on working conditions for solo self-employed
workers is part of the package of measures on platform work presented by the
European Commission on 9 December 2021. The European Commission has invited all
interested parties to comment on this (see also News December 2021). DSV took the opportunity to submit its opinion on 10 February.
Seize opportunities – ensure social protection
The digital transformation is giving rise
to new forms of employment that create more flexible working models. These can
be advantageous for both parties to the contract. However, some also pose
occupational health and safety risks. This includes the employment
relationships of solo self-employed workers (i.e. self-employed without
employees) when their clients have a much stronger negotiating position.
Collective bargaining is one way to counteract this and to better protect the
working conditions of solo self-employed workers and ensure minimum
occupational health and safety standards. In doing so, the draft guidelines
explicitly include solo self-employed workers on digital labour platforms.
The draft guidelines are intended to create
legal certainty and ensure that EU competition law does not preclude collective
agreements of solo self-employed workers on their working conditions and
Collective bargaining is an important instrument for improving occupational health and safety
German Social Insurance shares the European
Commission's assessment that collective bargaining can be an important
instrument for improving the working conditions of solo self-employed workers
and supports the proposed prioritisation in the application of EU competition
law. This will create a framework that addresses occupational health and safety
as well as allows consumers and business to continue to benefit from
competitive prices and innovative business models.
The draft is to be adopted by the European
Commission following the consultation. The guidelines are binding on the
European Commission regarding its subsequent interpretation and enforcement of
the EU competition rules.