The European Commission (EC) has proposed this Thursday the criteria to determine whether the employees of digital platforms such as Amazon or Uber are indeed regular workers, with the aim of preventing the proliferation of false self-employed and guaranteeing their labor rights.
Specifically, the directive presented today raises five criteria and, if at least two of them are met, it will be considered that the platform employs the worker and that he is part of the company’s staff.
Among the criteria that Brussels raises, it appears that the company establishes the level of remuneration or that it supervises the elaboration of the work by electronic means.
Likewise, it restricts the freedom to choose work hours or periods of absence, to accept or reject tasks, and to use subcontractors or substitutes.
That the platform establish binding standards on appearance, such as the obligation to wear uniforms with the company logo , on conduct with the client or on job performance.
Likewise, it is included that the company restricts the possibility that the employee builds a client base or works for other companies.
If two of the five EC criteria are met, the standard must be applied
If at least two of these conditions are met in the employment relationship between the platform and the worker, the individual will be considered a regular employee and will have the right to minimum wage, collective bargaining , paid vacations or better access. to protection against occupational accidents, unemployment and sickness benefits, as well as contributory old-age pensions.
In any case, both the platforms and the employees will have the possibility of contesting the appointment of people as regular workers through judicial or administrative procedures.
If it is the company that objects, it will be up to the company to prove that there is no employment relationship with the worker. If, on the contrary, it is the worker who rejects the appointment as a regular employee, the platform must contribute to the “adequate resolution” of the procedures, “in particular, providing all the relevant information,” Brussels said in a statement.
Community sources specified that the five criteria chosen are based on European and Member State jurisprudence on the matter. In fact, the standard is very similar to the one approved in Spain . Therefore, they are principles that community club courts have used to confirm an employment relationship between an employee and a platform.
A minimum of 1.7 million riders and a maximum of 4.1 million could change their status
According to the European Commission, around 28 million people work on digital platforms in the Union and, of that number, 5.5 million individuals may not have their job status recognized. For this reason, the EC expects that with the directive between 1.7 million and 4.1 million people will see their status as a staff worker on digital platforms recognized.
Others could become authentic freelancers, “since some platforms could adjust their business model,” Brussels explained.
The directive also covers algorithmic management, which increasingly replaces managers when assigning tasks, monitoring and evaluating work performed, providing incentives or imposing sanctions.
The proposal increases transparency in the use of algorithms by platforms, ensures human control over respect for working conditions, and grants the right to challenge automated decisions. These new rights will apply to both regular workers and the truly self-employed.
Together with the directive, Brussels today opened a public consultation on the guidelines for applying EU competition law to the collective agreements of the self-employed who work alone.