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S&Ds proud of landmark vote to better protect gig workers


13 Dec 2022


Social Europe & Jobs

The S&Ds are proud of today’s landmark vote on the new EU legislation to significantly improve social and labour rights of people working through apps as well as to protect the genuinely self-employed and good employers. The agreement was reached this evening by the European Parliament’s committee for employment and social affairs after months of intense negotiations and despite huge pressure from platforms*.

We have been the driving force for passing EU laws to better protect gig earners working for Deliveroo, Helpling, Uber, and other platforms. However, our fight does not end here. We now have to make sure that we will be able to start negotiations with EU member states as soon as possible and then safeguard the agreement that will be achieved by the Parliament.

Adequately protecting all workers is one of the major challenges of the digital era, algorithms cannot stay black boxes. Today, over 28 million people in the EU work through digital labour platforms. In 2025, their number is expected to reach 43 million, according to the European Commission’s data.

Elisabetta Gualmini, MEP and European Parliament’s rapporteur on the new EU legislation on improving conditions in platform work, said:

“I am very happy with this historic, balanced and progressive text. Today, we voted for the legislation that will secure correct employment classification based on the actual working conditions and transparency of algorithms. Trade unions and worker representatives should be able to collectively bargain on features that impact working conditions. There will be no automatic reclassification of workers and the burden of proof of the employment status will lay with the platforms. This means that whenever there is doubt on the classification of platforms workers, they are presumed employees unless proven otherwise by the platform.”

“Our agreement will also ensure autonomy, freedom, and flexibility for the self-employed. It will protect precarious workers by ensuring their access to social and labour rights, support good employers and prevent unfair competition, as well as guarantee human oversight and interactions so that the ‘machines’ cannot fire people or spy on them. Algorithms will not be black boxes. We will close legislative loopholes to ensure protection of all workers and fair competition.”

Agnes Jongerius, MEP and S&D spokesperson on employment and social rights, added:

“Ensuring the protection of all workers in the digital era should be as easy as ordering our food or a ride on our smartphones. Every worker is entitled to labour and social rights: fair pay, social insurance, sick leave and engaging in collective bargaining. This is what we want to set in stone with this new European legislation. It's time to change the game of the gig economy and make sure this labour market model does not spread to other job sectors.”

*Note to editors:

The main objective of this legislation - the directive on improving conditions in platform work - is to enshrine a rebuttable presumption of an employment relationship in EU law. This means platform workers are in principle employees with all applicable rights. If the platform companies disagree, it must be up to them to prove otherwise.