Furthermore, according to the proposed directive, the transparency and reporting obligations for digital labour platforms are to be expanded. This concerns all relevant data for status determination and includes information to be transmitted uniformly throughout the EU as well as additional clarifications and details on the data provided at the request of the labour and social security authorities.
For the industry association Bitkom, however, there is still a need to clarify how detailed the information obligations should be. Furthermore, Bitkom calls for exceptions to the transparency obligation to be defined, particularly with regard to features that constitute trade secrets or if the implementation of certain aspects of the obligation would place a disproportionate burden on the platforms.1
It is of fundamental importance for the German Social Insurance that the legal presumption for determining status is based on the actual employment situation. For this to succeed, extensive and meaningful information about the employment relationship is required on the part of the digital labour platforms. This includes, in particular, information on algorithmic management. This is the only way to clarify whether there is actually monitoring and review of work performance, and whether there are effective restrictions on independent work organisation and job acceptance. A high degree of standardisation, even of extensive requests for information, is a prerequisite for being able to make a quick assumption about employment status.
Belgium as a pioneer – mandatory coverage against occupational accidents
The social protection of platform workers is also currently the focus of Belgian politics. Part of the labour market reform unveiled on 15 February 2022 are new requirements for determining the employment status of platform workers and their occupational health and safety.
When presenting the reform package, the Belgian government explicitly referred to the European Commission’s proposal for a directive, but in deviation from it, the legal presumption is to be based on eight criteria. The presumption of dependent employment applies as soon as three of the eight criteria or two of the last five criteria listed, which correspond as closely as possible to the criteria of the European Commission’s proposed directive, are met.
In addition, digital labour platforms should not be allowed to demand exclusivity from platform workers. Thus, self-employed platform workers can work for competing platforms at the same time.
In addition, mandatory coverage against occupational accidents is to be introduced for all platform workers, regardless of their employment status. This was important to the Belgian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment. It had recalled that a platform worker was at fifteen times greater risk of suffering an occupational injury than a worker in “traditional” employment.
The insurance coverage must be paid by the digital labour platform in this case. It remains to be seen what the legislative text will look like at the end of the process. At present, the Belgian proposal is only being submitted to the social partners for comment.2