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14.03.2024 08:51

EU directive to improve the working conditions of food couriers and other platform workers

The key provisions of the Directive concern a legal presumption that the platform workers are employees of a digital platform, which means that for example couriers are, in essence, classified as employees, not self-employed.

On Monday, the EU ministers for employment and social affairs approved the agreement reached with the European Parliament on the Platform Work Directive. The directive improves the working conditions of those doing platform work and clarifies the rules of the game.

In EU member states, including Finland, the legal status of couriers has been unclear for a long time. PAM is currently negotiating collective agreements with Wolt. The aim is to sign agreements for both those who are in an employment relationship and those who are self-employed.

The key provisions of the Directive concern a legal presumption that the platform workers are presumed to be employees of a digital platform. With the Directive, the relationship between the platform and the person doing platform work is presumed to be an employment relationship. With this presumtion, platform workers can more easily be covered by labour legislation and collective agreements.

PAM’s Legal Manager Arja Pohjola sees the Directive as a positive thing for platform workers. However, no immediate changes will take effect due to the directive.

– The Directive introduces the presumption of an employment relationship but leaves more detailed regulation to the member states. The Directive must be transposed into national legislation within two years of its entry into force. It will probably take that long to bring the legislation in line with the Directive, says Pohjola.

– Presumption is rebuttable, which means that the employer has to prove that there is no employment relationship whereas currently the case and the burden of proof is the opposite.

The Directive will also bring changes to the regulation of algorithm management

In addition, the directive addresses the so-called algorithmic management. The directive requires that employees are well informed about the use of automated control and decision-making systems. These systems affect, among other things, the work and salary offered to employees. In addition, employees’ personal information is protected more closely.

UNI Europa, the umbrella organization for European service sector trade unions, welcomed the decision. According to UNI Europa, the Directive is a victory for millions of workers in Europe.

– Now the member countries must ensure that digital platforms can no longer avoid their responsibilities as employers and that the platforms participate in dialogue and negotiations about working conditions, UNI Europa’s Regional Secretary Oliver Röthig commented.

Text: Pauli Unkuri