ETUC – 4 million gig workers in EU could be automatically employed

Under European Commission proposals, workers for Deliveroo, Gorillas and Uber amongst other delivery platforms will be classified as workers and will be entitled to full employment rights. The European Trades Union Confederation (ETUC) has suggested this will be the case after looking at a draft EC directive aimed at improving the working conditions of platform workers.

Core to the EC proposals is the ‘rebuttal presumption’ where companies and not workers will have to prove that their staff are not workers but self employed.

Where platforms such as Deliveroo and Gorillas meet two of the five pre-set criteria, their workers will be automatically reclassified as employees from being self-employed. The EC estimates that this will impact around 4 million people across Europe.

“Platform companies will be working hard and spending big to try to cheat the tests set for them by the EU and maintain their business model based on exploitation,” said ETUC confederal secretary Ludovic Voet.

The trades union body says that Uber, Glovo, Deliveroo, and Amazon as well as a range of other firms would all fail the self-employment test.

“It’s premature and inappropriate to speculate on how the Commission’s proposal would impact different business models, not least because there is significant room for change between what’s on the table today and the final transposition by member states,” a spokesperson of Delivery Platforms Europe has said.

It is worth noting that Deliveroo has a habit of pulling out of countries where employment regulations have been improved in favour of workers. What isn’t clear is whether it would pull out of one of the wealthiest economic blocs in the world should such EC proposals be put into force. It and its rivals in the market are not profitable and pulling out of the EU could seriously impact their long term prospects of viability.

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