EU Employment Committee votes in favour of workers’ rights

EU Employment Committee
© iStock/AdrianHancu

The EU Employment Committee has approved draft legislation to shore up rights of casual, intermittent and on-demand workers.

Meeting on Thursday, the EU Employment Committee agreed on a set of rules to cover workers in non-traditional employment contracts. The new rules will address the increasing prevalence of the “gig economy” by cementing a set of minimum employment rights for workers in on-demand, voucher-based or platform employment, working for companies such as Deliveroo, Uber and Lyft.

MEPs on the EU Employment Committee defined employment as “perform[ing] services for and under the direction of another person in return for remuneration”, thus extending the definition and its attendant rights to casual and “gig” workers.

The new rights cover:

  • Transparency – employees to be informed of their essential rights and duties in writing, including the duration and basic salary of their contract, as well as opportunities for bonuses, training and paid overtime;
  • Probation – no probationary period to cover more than six months, rising to nine months for managerial positions;
  • Training – the EU Employment Committee agreed mandatory work training should be provided by the employer, take place during work hours and the employee should be paid accordingly;
  • Workers with variable schedules should be informed about guaranteed paid hours;
  • Workers in on-demand employment should be given a minimum level of stability and predictability regarding the timing and duration of jobs; and
  • The employer may not prohibit or hinder the employee from taking jobs with other companies.

Enrique Calvet Chambon, who heads the EU Employment Committee, said: “The time to develop minimum rules on working conditions for European citizens has arrived. These minimum rights matter to the lives of 500 million Europeans; it is a response to their expectations and will contribute to balance flexibility and security.”

Having received the endorsement of the EU Employment Committee, the text setting out the new rules will now go to the European Parliament for approval.

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