Last year plans for an EU Platform Work Directive were announced which would have presumed all gig workers to be employees rather than self-employed, but the legislation now looks set to be diluted.
The Czech Presidency of the European Council has proposed a reform of the text of the Directive which would raise the threshold for a platform worker to be legally presumed to be an employee from two to three criteria. In the original proposal, two out of five criteria had to be met for the legal presumption to be triggered.
Separate amendments by Social Democrat rapporteur Elisabetta Gualmini had been proposed to move the ‘presumption of employment’ into the recitals, rather than the main body, of the text. This would effectively mean a general presumption of employment, making it difficult for platforms to classify their workers as self-employed. This in turn would mean platform and gig workers would receive certain statutory rights such as paid holiday.
Gualmini’s amendments have already been watered down after a compromise was struck to include wording in the text that there would be no automatic reclassification of platform workers. However, there is now a significant movement underway to further weaken these changes and a vote on the matter has been pushed back from late October to late November.