The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is in the process of elaborating its position on the recently published European Commission Communication on Better Working Conditions for a Stronger Social Europe: harnessing the full benefits of digitalisation for the future of work and its proposal for a Directive on improving the working conditions in platform work.
An exchange of views on the basis of a Working Document by the Rapporteur, Mr Yonnec Polet (BE/PES), is scheduled on 15 February 2022, within the framework of the meeting of the CoR Commission for Social Policy, Education, Employment, Research and Culture (SEDEC).
The European Commission Communication and proposal for a Directive, both published on 9 December 2021, establish the first ever legal framework aimed at creating a level playing field between traditional businesses and digital labour platforms, as well as between such platforms by enforcing minimum standards for platform workers.
The proposed Directive seeks to address rampant bogus self-employment in platform work by setting strict rules for the accurate definition of employment status through a list of control criteria to determine whether the platform is an “employer”. For those being reclassified as workers, this means the right to a minimum wage, collective bargaining, working time and health protection, the right to paid leave or improved access to protection against work accidents, unemployment and sickness benefits, as well as contributory old-age pensions. Platforms can contest or “rebut” this classification, with the burden of proving that there is no employment relationship.
The Directive also addresses algorithmic management by increasing transparency in the use of algorithms by digital labour platforms, ensuring human monitoring on their respect of working conditions and giving the right to contest automated decisions. These new rights apply to both workers and genuine self-employed.
Finally, the Directive clarifies existing obligations for platforms to declare work to national authorities and asks them to make key information about their activities and the people who work through them available to national authorities.
Purpose of the consultation
In order to be able to include a wide range of different positions/practices, encompassing the local and regional point of view and that of practitioners in the field, the rapporteur would like to ask you a number of questions in the form of a written consultation. You can send your replies by e-mail to email@example.com by 4 February 2022.
- The European Commission wishes to improve the working conditions of platform workers. Does your local/regional authority possess (updated) data on this type of workers? If yes, is this data disaggregated by age, sex, level of skills, sector of activity or any other criteria?
- Does your local/regional authority have recourse to services provided by platform workers? If yes, what kind of services? Does your local/regional authority apply qualitative criteria, including with regard to working conditions, when it comes to public procurement?
- Is there a national/regional regulatory framework applying to platform workers in your country?
- What are your views on the impact that the proposed directive could have at national/regional/local level for platform workers?
- Should the proposed directive be modified to better respond to the challenges of platform work at national/regional/local level?
- How could a better acknowledgement of local and regional authorities in the proposed directive contribute to improving working conditions in platform work?
- What are your views on the choice of the legal instrument, that is, a directive, which sets minimum standards but allows Member States to decide on the best way to apply them?
- Is your local/regional authority confronted with competition and/or conflicts between traditional service providers and platforms operating within their constituency? Has your local/regional authority taken measures regulating services provided via platforms on its territory?