So says Glen Hodgson who is campaigning against new legislation planned to give gig workers employment rights. His group, Freelance Movement, is demanding that the European Parliament listen to freelancers and respect the voice of those directly impacted by the Platform Work Directive.
If the EU Parliament gets its way, Glen and millions of others will face uncertainty, the risk of forced reclassification into employment structures they don’t want, and removal of the flexibility and freedom they actively chose. Instead the group says:
- Give us the power to negotiate: Make it easier for us freelancers to negotiate – either individually or as a group – with platforms on our working conditions, including compensation, social protections and benefits.
- Protect our flexibility: Ensure our right to freely choose when to work, without any notice and without any schedules imposed upon us.
- Protect our independence: Ensure our freedom to select which tasks we choose to accept or reject, without being directed by a boss.
- Protect our entrepreneurship: Provide certainty to operate as self-employed and to build our business by providing services to different partners, including competing platforms.
An online petition has been launched which aims to ensure a fair and inclusive future for all platform workers.
Why does this matter?
The gig economy has long been controversial in the UK because some of these workers (such as couriers, drivers, food delivery workers) are falsely self-employed, meaning that they have no statutory rights – but their work is akin to employment. If they were genuinely self-employed, gig workers would be able to charge their own rate and decide how, where and when they work. Instead gig workers are often closely controlled by the platform (like employees) yet they have no protections so are not entitled to rights such as NMW nor paid holiday.
The European Parliament is seeking to address this unfairness, however as Glen points out, many genuinely self-employed people will be wrongly caught in the crossfire. Despite Brexit, the EU Platform Directive is likely to influence gig working here in the UK, so we will continue to keep you updated.