The European Commission ( EC ) ruled out on Monday that it is going to propose a “statute” for couriers who work on platforms such as Deliveroo, Uber or Glovo, but it did make it clear that it wants to give them more labor guarantees.
Riders protest in Valencia against the new law: “Not everything happens for wage earning”
“It is not about imposing a statute, but that all platform workers have social guarantees,” said the European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit.
The commissioner spoke thus in a debate in the plenary session of the European Parliament on a parliamentary report on fair working conditions, rights and social protection of the workers of digital platforms who are in charge of carrying packages, errands and especially food by bicycle or motorbike usually.
After several public consultations on the matter, the commissioner confirmed that he plans to present measures to further protect these workers by the end of the year.
Schmit was in favor of the development of these digital platforms, which offer services that respond to a “real demand” , which have expanded rapidly during the pandemic and that “we use practically all of them more or less frequently.”
Instead, he drew attention to the conditions of the workers of these platforms, mainly young, and stressed that the Commission “is firmly committed” to developing the digital economy “but in conditions of respect for social norms, protection socia l, the most fundamental labor law “.
“Today we see that many young people who travel our cities by bicycle or motorcycle, and who sometimes have no guarantee; if they have an accident and it happens often, they are devoid of protection measures,” explained the commissioner.
He said that he trusts that the proposal made by Brussels will serve for Europe but also “beyond our borders, because the same problems are everywhere; in California ( USA ), where the digital economy was invented ”, he pointed out. Schmit stressed that “now is the time to act” and that “it is not a question of diminishing the economic importance of the platforms, but of providing them with a framework, a platform of legal certainty.”
“It is not normal that in the internal market the rules for platforms are different according to the countries, especially when we see that there are exchanges beyond borders,” he warned. And he emphasized that the objective is not “to impose a statute”, but “to give more guarantees to hundreds of thousands of young people who work occasionally, or a lot, for the platforms.”
Don’t depend on an algorithm
Likewise, he stressed that “we cannot be the object of robots or artificial intelligence”, and that deliverymen “cannot be judged because an algorithm is programmed in a certain way”, so that “they may even lose their job because of it.”
They denounce that Glovo is “playing abusively with the algorithms” of its distributors
The EC had already advanced that, if an EU initiative on platform workers were to be launched, it would be approached with full respect for national competences, the diversity of labor market traditions in the Member States and the autonomy of the social partners. He has also said that any initiative on working on digital platforms must respect national definitions of “worker”.
And that there is also “no intention of creating a ‘third’ employment situation” (workers who are neither salaried nor self-employed) at EU level, even if the decision of some Member States to introduce a special figure in your national legislation.