The European Commission on Thursday proposed new legislation that would require delivery, transport, and other digital platforms to give proper employee status to their workers.
The new legislative package aims at ensuring “that people working through digital labor platforms can enjoy the labor rights and social benefits they are entitled to”, the EU executive body said in a statement.
Under the new rules, digital platforms such as Uber, Deliveroo, Amazon, Bolt would be obliged to redraft their contracts with their employees who are freelancers on paper, but in reality, work full-time.
“We must make the most of the job-creating potential of digital platforms. But we should also make sure that they are quality jobs, that don't promote precariousness, so people working through them have security and can plan for their future,” said Nicolas Schmit, EU commissioner for social rights and jobs.
According to the draft legislation, the platform is an employer if at least two of these criteria are met: the company determines the salary, issues guidance on behavior or look, sets tasks and working hours, supervises work electronically, prevents employees from taking assignments from other firms.
In this case, workers should be entitled to minimum wage, right to paid leave, unemployment, and sickness benefits, contribution to pension, standards on working time, and health conditions.
According to the European Commission’s estimations, some 28 million people are working for digital platforms in the EU, and around 22.5 million of them are deemed to be correctly classified, either as workers or as self-employed. The remaining 5.5 million are “misclassified.”
If the draft is adopted by EU member states and the European Parliament, it can generate an additional tax revenue between €1.6 billion ($1.8 billion) and €4 billion ($4.5 billion) for EU members in total.