What is the new transparent and predictable working conditions directive?

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A new provisional agreement has been reached by the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council, to create more transparent and predictable working conditions.

As of yesterday (7 February) the new directive on transparent and predictable working conditions has been formally adopted by both the European Parliament and the Council. The proposal made by the Commission is an update of the ‘Written Statement Directive’ – which dates from 1991.

With the world of work fast evolving, the new directive will aim to look towards a modernised workforce; complementing and modernising existing obligations to inform each worker of his or her working conditions. The biggest differences in employment over the years include; demographic change, resulting in a greater diversity of working population; digitalisation, facilitating the creation of new forms of employment and as a result, new and more flexible employment relationships have emerged.

What does the directive to create more transparent and predictable working conditions entail?

The proposal set out to create new minimum standards to ensure that all workers, including those on atypical contracts, benefit from more predictability and clarity as regards to their working conditions; the Commission estimates that 2-3 million additional workers on atypical contracts will be covered and protected compared with the old legislation.

The new directive will also look to put measures in place to avoid administrative burden on employers by giving them the opportunity to provide requested information electronically. A level-playing field for companies is also at the forefront of the directive, meaning that employers can benefit from fairer competition in the internal market, with fewer loopholes.

Comments on the provisional agreement of the directive

Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility has welcomed the agreement, releasing the following statement:

“Today we have reached an agreement that will provide 200 million workers in Europe with more transparent and predictable working conditions. We are modernising European labour law and adjusting it to the new world of work. This is a major milestone to make the European Pillar of Social Rights a reality for our citizens. Today’s economy needs flexible labour contracts, but flexibility must be combined with minimum protection. With the agreement that is on the table today, we will offer those who are in flexible employment relations more transparency and predictability, especially the most vulnerable ones. Up to three million workers active in new forms of work, like workers on zero-hour contracts and domestic workers, will be covered which was not the case until now. Workers will benefit from more transparency by receiving key information on their working conditions from the start, and they will benefit from new rights leading to more predictable working conditions.

I would like to thank rapporteur Enrique Calvet Chambon and the shadow rapporteurs who negotiated on behalf of the European Parliament, and the Romanian Presidency on behalf of the Council. This agreement should now be confirmed quickly so that it can have a concrete, tangible, and positive effect on workers across the EU. This is what social Europe is all about.”

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