The European Parliament has adopted a resolution calling for digital labour platform workers to be given the same rights and access to social protection as other workers do.
MEPs on the committee on employment and social affairs acknowledged that platform workers can create employment opportunities and lower barriers to entering the market. Yet, they can raise huge concerns with poor working conditions and bogus self-employment.
The resolution adopted today calls for equal working conditions for platform workers, algorithms to be transparent, non-discriminatory and ethical as well as the right to collective bargaining to be guaranteed for these workers.
In Malta, we have seen the poor working conditions experienced by platform workers highlighted by couriers working for Bolt Food. Yet, the issue spans across every platform company and is especially painful for non-EU workers.
Non-EU workers can see themselves employed by fleets that take half of their income and end up in debt in the first place from simply getting to Malta.
In countries like the UK meanwhile, few platform companies are able to prove that they have mechanisms in place for workers to appeal decisions made by management (like being removed from the platform).
Few also were able to show that they have proper protection for workers’ health and safety or provide insurance against work-specific risks.
It is for this reason that MEPs have also called for on-location platform workers to be equipped with adequate personal protective equipment and those active in transportation and delivery to be guaranteed accident insurance.
Positive news for the rights of thousands of platform workers in many European countries from various court cases.
— European Greens (@europeangreens) March 2, 2021
“The adoption of this report by a vast majority is a very good signal for platform workers,” rapporteur Sylvie Brunet stated. The resolution was adopted with 44 votes to 2, with 8 abstentions.
“We must constantly strive for the necessary balance between opportunities and flexibility offered by the new forms of employment linked to digital development and the protection inherent to our European social model.”
MEPs further called upon the European Commission to consider establishing a European quality label that highlights platforms with quality labour conditions. By doing so, workers, consumers and users are able to make informed decisions on the platforms they choose to support.
Europe’s current framework for workers in the platform economy is widely seen as unsatisfactory and not in line with the new realities of the world that we live in, especially when it comes to being addressed by EU laws.
The European Commission is expected to present a legislative initiative to improve the working conditions of workers. It will be based on a two-phase consultation launched on 24th February 2021.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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