“Digital transformation is bringing about rapid changes that are impacting our labour markets”, stated Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in her political guidelines at the beginning of her term in office. In connection with this, she had made a voluntary commitment to examine how working conditions on online platforms could be improved. The EU Commission subsequently saw a need for action and proposed to create an EU-wide framework for access to social protection and labour rights for platform workers: They should have the same level of social protection as all other employed workers.
A good two years later, after thoroughly controversial discussions at European level and two consultations with the social partners, the European Commission has presented a package of measures to improve the working conditions of platform workers. A key component is a draft directive on improving working conditions in platform work, which was presented on 9 December 2021.
But are the proposed regulations also sufficient or perhaps too far-reaching? Do they provide enough flexibility for the different social security systems? Do they enable both adequate access to social and labour protections for platform workers and tap the innovative potential of digital labour platforms?
In our current issue of the ed* special bulletin, we would like to explore these questions with you and give you an overview of the current discussion of the proposed directive.
We hope you enjoy reading.
Yours, Ilka Wölfle