EU fixes minimum rights for ‘gig economy’ workers

The European Parliament has voted through new rights for gig workers.

Female Delivery Driver driving a van


MEPs have approved minimum rights for gig workers in a vote on Tuesday.

The law, already agreed with EU ministers, grants a set of minimum rights for those in casual or short-term employment, on-demand workers, intermittent workers, voucher-based workers, platform workers, as well as paid trainees and apprentices if they work a minimum of three hours per week and 12 hours per four weeks on average.

Self-employed workers will be excluded from the new rules.

Under the new rules, all workers need to be informed from day one as a general principle, and no later than seven days where justified, of the essential aspects of their employment contract, such as a description of duties, a starting date, the duration, remuneration, standard working day or reference hours for those with unpredictable work schedules.

The rights include a minimum level of predictability over hours for on-demand workers and the right to refuse, without consequences, an assignment outside predetermined hours or be compensated if the assignment was not cancelled in time.

There are also protections for workers who take jobs with other companies if this falls outside the work schedule established with their employer.

Member states are also asked to adopt measures to prevent abusive practices, such as limits to the use and duration of the contract.

Under the new rules probationary periods will be no longer than six months or proportionate to the expected duration of the contract in the case of fixed-term employment. A

nd mandatory training will count as working time and will be provided free of charge. It should be completed within working hours as much as possible.

Enrique Calvet Chambon, the rapporteur, said : “This directive is the first big step towards implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, affecting all EU workers.

All workers who have been in limbo will now be granted minimum rights thanks to this directive, and the European Court of Justice rulings, from now on no employer will be able to abuse the flexibility in the labour market.”

The final text was adopted with 466 votes to 145 and 37 abstentions. EU member states will have three years to put the rules into practice.

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