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31 Okt 2023


EU: Policymakers to discuss legal presumption of employment as part of Platform Workers Directive

"EU policymakers brace for clash in thorny debate over platform workers’ status", 31 Oct 2023

The directive is a legislative proposal to define the status of those working for gig economy platforms like Uber and Deliveroo. The file entered the last phase of the legislative process – so-called ‘trilogues’, between the EU Council, Parliament, and Commission – back in July.

After months of stalemate, with little to no advances, negotiations are now moving to the details of the legal presumption – a novel mechanism that, if triggered, could enable the reclassification of platform workers from self-employed to employee.

The legal status of platform workers is by far the most sensitive chapter of the platform workers directive – and the EU co-legislators have adopted widely different views.

The initial Commission proposal stipulated that the presumption could be triggered if two out of five criteria which hint to subordination were met – in which case a self-employed platform worker could be reclassified unless the digital platform rebuts the reclassification and brings evidence that the worker is ‘genuinely self-employed’.

The Council raised the bar to trigger the presumption, requiring three out of seven criteria to be met. It added specific caveats to limit the scope of the presumption where it would be “manifest” that it would be rebutted. It also looked to exclude the presumption from social security, tax and criminal proceedings.

The Parliament diverged widely from the Council’s stance, however, removing criteria altogether. Any hint of subordination to platforms could have the presumption be triggered – a broad-sweeping scope which has not been to either the Commission’s or the Council’s taste...