European Commission considers rider employment regulations

The European Commission is considering proposals to make most restaurant and q-commerce delivery riders employees instead of gig workers. Businesses such as Uber, Deliveroo and Bolt Technology – already fighting individual states on the matter – are getting ready to take on the commission.

Under draft regulations seen by the Bloomberg media outlet, delivery riders would have the “rebuttable presumption of employment,” according to the draft, which would mean there is an employment arrangement no matter how the contract is worded. 

Fortunately for the businesses in question, the EC doesn’t have the power to mandate labour laws in individual countries, which would be left to interpret the regulations as they wished. The draft also says some workers would remain self-employed but does not explain which ones or how they would be given this designation.

The delivery companies have warned that such regulations could put a lot of delivery riders out of work, citing Deliveroo pulling out of Spain in response to its government imposing strict labour laws on those firms. 

“Not only is the commission trying to answer a good issue the wrong way, but also what is being done will have very harmful consequences on the platform workers themselves — that’s the most important, job destruction — on the platforms in Europe and the efficiency of the services for the European citizens,” said Aurelien Pozzana, the head of public policy at Bolt.

The delivery companies in question are embroiled in legal battles across Europe with member states as they impose their own employment laws upon them. The draft however is set to be altered before coming into force, and the proposal is set to be published on the 8th December. Even so, it is understood that the presumption of employment will still be in the proposal.

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