What’s going on:
EU countries have made amendments to a draft proposal concerning gig workers’ rights, sparking criticism among companies operating in the gig economy, according to Reuters. The changes are aimed at addressing the concerns surrounding the lack of protections and employee benefits for gig workers in online service platforms like Uber and Deliveroo.
The draft rules were originally announced by the EU executive in December of 2021. In the updated draft that was agreed upon on Monday, the EU suggested that companies should be considered employees if they meet three out of seven criteria laid out in the draft.
Why it matters:
The draft rules will potentially impact millions of gig workers across the European Union.
The move also drew criticism from Uber, because while there are many thousands in the gig economy who are seeking more workers’ rights, there are also a substantial portion of gig workers who set up small businesses to take on multiple clients. If these gig workers are classified as employees for specific companies, this may cause issues for their businesses, which operate more like an independent contractor.
Despite this criticism, the EU’s amended draft aims to provide better protection and benefits to this growing section of the workforce by addressing the ongoing concerns about their working conditions and lack of benefits compared to traditional employees. The dissatisfaction expressed by gig companies might better reflect the potential financial and operational impact of implementing these regulations.
How it’ll impact the future:
By establishing clear rights and benefits for gig workers, the EU could set a precedent for regulating gig economy platforms globally. This may prompt other regions to adopt similar regulations, potentially reshaping the operations of gig economy platforms worldwide.
Companies may need to adapt their business models to comply with these new regulations. This may result in increased costs for platforms like Uber and Deliveroo, which could be passed on to consumers.
Once implemented, these new rules may attract more individuals to consider gig work as a viable career option, knowing they will have improved protections and benefits. This could lead to a more diverse and flexible workforce, empowering individuals to have greater control over their working hours and conditions.