abusesaffiliationarrow-downarrow-leftarrow-rightarrow-upattack-typeburgerchevron-downchevron-leftchevron-rightchevron-upClock iconclosedeletedevelopment-povertydiscriminationdollardownloademailenvironmentexternal-linkfacebookfiltergenderglobegroupshealthC4067174-3DD9-4B9E-AD64-284FDAAE6338@1xinformation-outlineinformationinstagraminvestment-trade-globalisationissueslabourlanguagesShapeCombined Shapeline, chart, up, arrow, graphLinkedInlocationmap-pinminusnewsorganisationotheroverviewpluspreviewArtboard 185profilerefreshIconnewssearchsecurityPathStock downStock steadyStock uptagticktooltiptwitteruniversalityweb

13 Dec 2023


European Union lawmakers agree deal to bolster gig worker rights

Some two years of talking about gig worker rights later and European Union lawmakers have finally reached a deal on the final shape of the Platform Worker Directive.

The development could deliver a significant boost for millions of gig workers laboring on digital platforms without being afforded workers rights. The EU estimates some 5.5 million people currently laboring for such platforms in the region may be wrongly classified as self employed (aka “bogus self employment”), meaning they are missing out on important labor and social rights protections.

The Commission presented its original plan to reform labor laws to boost protections for platform workers back in December 2021, setting out a presumption of employment for workers in a bid to flip the odds on gig economy exploitation. But the proposal proved contentious, with heavy industry lobbying from tech platforms such as Uber pushing for gig workers to be carved out of Europe’s employment protections...

The deal that’s been provisionally agreed means a presumption of an employment relationship between a gig worker and a platform will be triggered when two out of a list of five “indicators of control or direction are present”, as the parliament’s press release puts it...

The agreement also contains transparency provisions that will require platforms to provide information to individuals performing platform work (and to their representatives) about how the algorithms that manage them work; and how their behaviour affects decisions taken by automated systems.

That looks important because while the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) already provides some rights to data subjects subject to automated decision-making, to be provided with information about the logic used by such algorithms, it’s fair to say that gig workers who have tried to use the GDPR to extract meaningful insights on the algorithms used to manage (and even fire) them have had to resort to lengthy and frustrating court battles to try to extract useful data.

Worker data access rights advocacy organizations will be hoping the new directive makes it far harder for platforms to find excuses not to hand over workers’ data...

The final text still needs to be voted on by the Council and Parliament before it can be adopted as pan-EU law...