European Parliament Passes Landmark Directive on Platform Workers' Rights

World » EU | April 24, 2024, Wednesday // 16:14
Bulgaria: European Parliament Passes Landmark Directive on Platform Workers' Rights

The European Parliament has approved the EU's inaugural directive aimed at regulating the employment rights of individuals working through online platforms. This directive, adopted on Wednesday, is a significant step toward ensuring fair treatment and protection for workers in the gig economy, including food and grocery providers, couriers, translators, domestic helpers, caretakers, and taxi drivers.

The rise of online platforms as a new form of employment, particularly accelerated during the COVID-19 pandemic, has prompted the European Commission to address the need for regulation in labor law. The directive seeks to address this gap by obliging member states to incorporate provisions for platform workers into their labor legislation.

Under the directive, it will be presumed that the relationship between platform workers and the platforms themselves constitutes an employment relationship, especially where the platform exercises direction and control over the workers. This presumption opens the door for workers to be hired under labor contracts and grants them the right to engage in collective bargaining.

Presently, the majority of platform workers operate as self-employed individuals, despite being subject to many of the rules and constraints typically associated with contract workers.

Once implemented, the directive will safeguard platform workers against dismissals based solely on algorithmic decisions or automated processes lacking human oversight. Human intervention will be mandated for crucial decisions affecting workers' rights.

Additionally, platforms will be prohibited from processing personal data related to private conversations and from obtaining information regarding workers' union membership, racial or ethnic origin, immigration status, political affiliations, religious beliefs, or health status.

According to data from the Council of the EU, the community hosts approximately 500 online platforms, collectively employing around 30 million people. The majority of these workers are engaged in delivery or taxi services, making the regulation of platform work a pressing issue with far-reaching implications for labor rights in the digital age.

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Tags: European parliament, platform, directive, labor

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