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Gemengde reacties op Europees voorstel Platformwerkers

Europese politici vinden dat ‘platformwerkers’ aanspraak moeten kunnen maken op enkele fundamentele arbeidsrechten en sociale voordelen. Op 8 december 2021 publiceerde de Europese Commissie hierover zijn lang verwachte voorstel. In dit overzichtsartikel belichten we de juridische stand van zaken en verzamelen we de commentaren van diverse stakeholders en van internationale media.

Wie vandaag zijn opdrachten en inkomen verwerft via een door algoritmes aangestuurd digitaal arbeidsplatform (DLP) wordt gewoonlijk als een zelfstandige beschouwd. De Europese politici vinden dat deze ‘platformwerkers’ aanspraak moeten kunnen maken op enkele fundamentele arbeidsrechten en sociale voordelen. Op 8 december 2021 publiceerde de Europese Commissie hierover zijn lang verwachte voorstel.

Nu is het de beurt aan de lidstaten en het Europees Parlement om verder te onderhandelen over de arbeidsvoorwaarden van platformwerkers. Het Europees Parlement gaf al eerder te kennen dat het de arbeidsomstandigheden in die sector wil verbeteren. Zodra de tekst is goedgekeurd door de Europese Raad en het EP krijgen de lidstaten dan nog tot twee jaar de tijd om de richtlijn om te zetten in nationale wetgeving.

Wat heeft de Europese Commissie voorgesteld?

In deze synthese van onze collega bij ZiPconomy lees je alvast een handige samenvatting.

Aanvullend hierop vind je hier ook de relevante weblinks naar de communicatie hierover vanwege de Europese Commissie zelf:

  1. The European Commission proposes a set of measures to improve the working conditions in platform work and to support the sustainable growth of digital labour platforms in the EU.
  2. The European Commission proposals to improve the working conditions of people working through digital labour platforms

De Commissie lanceerde bij alle stakeholders ook nog een openbare raadpleging over een specifiek probleem dat ook nog aangepakt moet worden: hoe kunnen zelfstandigen (die zelf te weinig invloed hebben op hun arbeidsvoorwaarden) zich collectief organiseren om hun arbeidsvoorwaarden te verbeteren, zonder daarbij het EU-mededingingsrecht te overtreden? Want tegelijk wil de EU blijven garanderen dat consumenten en KMO’s  kunnen blijven profiteren van concurrerende prijzen en innoverende bedrijfsmodellen, ook in de digitale platformeconomie.

  1. The European Commission invites comments on draft Guidelines about collective agreements regarding the working conditions of solo self-employed people
  2. All citizens, organisations and public authorities are welcome to contribute to this consultation from 09.12.2021 to 24.02.2022

Wat vinden anderen van het voorstel?

We vervolledigen ons overzicht met weblinks naar diverse stakeholders, gaande van vakbonden naar academici  die vanuit hun eigen invalshoek commentaar en duiding gaven. Zoals de illustrerende quotes min of meer aangeven is de consensus overigens vrij ruim. Alleen Business Europe strubbelt wat tegen.


“The commission has adopted a bold posture, matching to an extent
the expectations of the proposal and the positive atmosphere
surrounding the European Pillar of Social Rights.”


1.Social Europe: European Commission takes the lead in regulating platform work

Valerio De Stefano and Antonio Aloisi : “A wide consensus is emerging in policy-making and public opinion. For the first time, the front of platform companies has fragmented. Some major operators are openly challenging the proposition, foreseeing nefarious consequences for their profitability. Others have however already started to comply with national laws about employment status and rights—showing how innovation and regulation can go hand in hand.”

2.Oxford Human Rights Hub

“As the single market turns digital, it is crucial that the Union’s social acquis keep pace. Today’s proposals are a welcome step towards that goal.”

3.Researchgate.Net: Despoina Georgiu:

“A short summary of the potential loopholes in the personal scope of the European Commission proposed Directive on improving the working conditions in platform work.”

4.Just Eat Takeaway

“Just Eat Takeaway.com welcomes and fully supports the EU Commission’s proposals to improve conditions for workers and help them access social protections.”

5.Business Europe: EU Commission proposal ignores the diversity of platform work

“Within its proposal for an EU law on platform work the Commission is proposing a rebuttable presumption of employment. This does not reflect reality, as many platform workers choose to work as self-employed.”

6. In deze video deelt Lucas Stuur zijn visie op de nieuwe richtlijn met Connor Heaney van CXC: wat dit betekent voor het bedrijfsleven en of het de werking van deze platforms zal veranderen.

7.Etuc: EU ends free ride for platforms

“For too long platform companies have made huge profits by dodging their most basic obligations as employers at the expense of workers, responsible employers and underfunded public services.”

8.European Federation of Trade Unions in the Food, Agriculture, and Tourism sectors and allied branches” (EFFAT/IUF-Europe: Platform Workers are Workers)

“In strict collaboration with our affiliates and the along with the European Trade union movement, EFFAT will closely follow the legal development of the Directive to further strengthen protection for platform workers and ensure viable industrial relations in the sector.”

9.Baker McKenzie: European Commission – more rights for platform workers

“It is still too early to go into detail about the possible consequences of implementation of the proposed Directive. It does seem evident, that many platform workers currently treated as self-employed will be regarded as employees under the new Directive, which, may also have tax and social security implications.”

10.Delivery Platforms Europe: Statement on the European Commission’s platform work proposal

“We’re concerned about the impact this proposal could have on riders, restaurants and the wider EU economy. A recent study by Copenhagen Economics predicted that EU-wide reclassification could lead to up to 250,000 people deciding to stop doing delivery work as they would no longer have the flexibility they seek.”

11.com: European Commission to the World: Gig Economy Workers Are Employees

Last week, the European Commission unveiled what lawyers are describing as the world’s first attempt to regulate the booming gig economy that has become a mainstay of many cities. 

Hoe rapporteren internationale media over dit voorstel?

De illustrerende quotes komen telkens uit het artikel zelf.

1.Politico: 5 things to know about the EU’s gig worker plans

“Platforms are concerned about risks the new regulations pose to their businesses — but rules can be watered down, and could take years to kick in.”

2.Techcrunch: Europe lays out a plan to flip the odds on gig economy exploitation

“The Commission’s overarching goal is to a create a level playing field between traditional businesses and (between) the different digital labor platforms by enforcing minimum standards for platform workers.”

3.Reuters: Companies divided on draft EU rules for gig economy workers

“The European Commission published draft rules on Thursday to give workers at online platform companies such as Uber and Deliveroo better social rights, but which companies say could lead to job losses and more litigation in court.”

4.Wired (UK): The Gig Economy’s Days in Europe Are Numbered

“The proposed EU rules attempt to provide this clarity by defining a list of five criteria to mark a line between a self-employed platform worker and one that deserves the same rights as an employee.”

5.Euronews: New EU rules could turn 4.1 million gig workers into regular employees

“Out of the 28 million gig workers currently active across the bloc, around 5.5 million are incorrectly categorised as “self-employed”. The new directive will turn between 1.7 to 4.1 million gig workers into ordinary employees, while the remaining could be recognised as genuinely self-employed.”

6.New York Times: Europe Pushes New Rules Turning Gig Workers Into Employees

“Labor unions and other supporters hailed the proposal, which has strong political support, as a breakthrough in the global effort to change the business practices of companies that they say depend on exploiting workers with low pay and weak labor protections.”

7.Fortune: Europe hits Uber and other gig-economy firms with tough new rules that will give many contractors the rights of employees

“The message was plain: Get serious about workers’ rights or face a legislative crackdown.”

 

PS

Als je eigen ideeën of bedenkingen hebt over deze materie of als je een ander commentaar aan dit overzicht wil toegevoegd zien, laat het ons dan weten via info@nextconomy.be.

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