European Commission proposes guidelines for workers’ rights at Uber and Deliveroo – JURIST – News

The European Commission on Thursday released draft guidelines outlining workers’ rights for online companies such as Uber and Deliveroo.

The package aims to help develop digital labor platforms by ensuring that workers enjoy the same labor rights as typical ‘workers’ in the EU by establishing whether these platforms are ’employers’. The measures will include language setting out the position the EU will take towards this type of à la carte worker, a proposal for a new directive and a draft guidance to complement the directive.

To ensure that workers on digital work platforms have these equal employment rights, the company will need to put in place minimum wages, health coverage, paid leave and workers compensation. To receive all of these rights, the European Commission must first show that technology companies like Uber are equal to traditional companies under competition law. Through this process, a “legal certainty” would be found for freelance platforms which has not been established before.

The proposed guidelines could apply to 4.1 million workers in 27 EU countries, out of the 28 million workers currently employed by these digital companies. Some unions praised the draft rules, saying it was “long overdue”. However, some companies have argued that such protections could ultimately lead to job losses, fearing they could cripple small businesses and damage the services they rely on. There have also been calls to drop the proposed directive with the aim of preserving flexibility for workers and instead introducing benefits, rather than establishing equal rights between the digital and traditional economy.

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