Last week the European Parliament adopted a law setting minimum rights for 'gig economy' workers. This is the first attempt of the EU for regulation in this new form of employment and could represent quite a change for employees of Uber, Deliveroo, Take Eat Easy and similar platform companies.
Until now 'gig economy' workers were treated as self-employed with no guarantees of employees' rights. On the other hand, they were enjoying the flexibility and freedom of choice when organizing their work.
New Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions would apply not only to employees but also to workers, who work a minimum of three hours per week and 12 hours per four weeks on average, including casual or short-term workers, those who work on-demand and paid trainees and apprentices.
The EU law will require employers to inform all workers about 'essential aspects' of their employment on their first day, including:
- Description of their duties
- Starting date and pay information indication of what a standard working day is or reference hours
- Right to compensation for late canceling of work
- Only one probationary period limited to six months
- Allow employees to have other jobs, banning 'exclusivity clauses'
As far as the Slovak Republic is concerned, the 'gig economy' was so far an issue only from the perspective of licensing, public law requirements and taxation. Employees' rights were not the topic of public discussion. This, however, should inevitably change as Slovakia should implement the Directive. During that process, those questions would definitely arise.
We will soon see the approach of the authorities to the definition of so-called 'dependant work' and the status of self-employed. Let's hope that the implementation will be done sensitively and will not 'kill' the very nature of the 'gig economy'.
“All workers who have been in limbo will now be granted minimum rights thanks to this directive, and the European Court of Justice rulings. From now on no employer will be able to abuse the flexibility in the labor market,” lawmaker Enrique Calvet Chambon from the ALDE liberal group, said.