Decent work for all - S&Ds call for ban of zero-hour contracts in new rules on working conditions

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At a conference on Decent Working Conditions hosted by the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament today, S&D MEPs called for setting new rights for workers, especially to better protect workers in precarious jobs. They welcomed a proposal put forward by the Commission on the revision of the Written Statement Directive, a follow-up on the declaration of the Social Pillar in Gothenburg in November 2017, for which the S&D Group has been campaigning for years and continues to push for its implementation.
 
Speaking at the conference, S&D Group vice-president and European Parliament’s rapporteur on the European Pillar of Social Rights, Maria João Rodrigues MEP, said:
 
“Now it is time to deliver on the promises made in Gothenburg. To be meaningful, the Social Pillar must consist of enforceable social rights, fairer economic policies and properly funded public investments. A full revision of the Written Statement Directive is needed to improve the lives of millions of Europeans working in precarious jobs. We Socialists and Democrats led the drive for the declaration of the Social Pillar and we will now continue the fight to make social rights a reality for all Europeans.”
 
Agnes Jongerius, MEP and S&D spokesperson on employment, said:
 
“With a growing number of Europeans working in precarious jobs like on-demand, platform or voucher-based work, it has become even more urgent to up-date and broaden the scope of existing laws to close the loopholes used by some employers to deny atypical workers even minimum protection. All workers, no matter what type of contract they have, must be guaranteed two basic rights: a clear and decent labour contract and full access to social protection. Decent jobs for all - that is what it is all about.”
 
Javi Lopez, S&D MEP and responsible for the revision of the Written Statement Directive, said:
 
“We welcome this necessary initiative of the Commission. We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to improve working conditions and workers' rights. Prohibiting unfair terms such as excessive probation periods, charging workers for training or exclusivity clauses all go in the right direction. However, to ensure that all workers in all forms of work really enjoy guaranteed rights, the Commission’s proposal must become more robust. We want all employment relationships to be covered by the new rules and we call on the Commission to ban explicitly zero-hour contracts and unpaid internships. These are especially scandalous forms of exploitation and should be prohibited.”
 
Note to the editor:
 
The Directive for transparent and predictable working conditions updates and replaces the 1991 Written Statement Directive, which gives employees the right to be notified in writing of the essential aspects of their contract or employment relationship. Member states committed to this revision in the Social Pillar declaration.

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