Sunday, October 17

The European Parliament demands “fair” conditions for the ‘riders’ and workers of platforms

That the working conditions of all digital platform workers, including the truly self-employed, are “fair.” That in the new forms of employment there is the same protection as in traditional jobs. That the false self-employed disappear and the companies are the ones that have to prove the absence of an employment relationship. That there is accident insurance for transport workers. And that the algorithms are transparent and non-discriminatory to regulate the allocation of orders, the qualifications and the price.

These and other demands are those approved by the European Parliament this Thursday by 524 votes in favor, 39 against – among them, the Vox MEPs – and 124 abstentions – mainly from the extreme right -. At present, platform workers are not covered by an EU legal instrument, leaving them in a legally precarious situation.

Platform workers are often classified as self-employed, depriving them of social protection and other labor rights. To avoid this legal uncertainty, the European Parliament raises the reversal of the burden of proof, so that, if the worker challenges his employment situation, it will be up to the company to demonstrate the absence of an employment relationship, and not the other way around. MEPs are, however, opposed to the automatic classification of all platform workers, which will allow those who are truly self-employed to remain in that position.

The text approved by the plenary calls for a European regulatory framework to guarantee that digital platform workers have the same social protection as other workers in the same category. This includes social contributions, responsibility for health and safety and the right to collective bargaining of employment conditions.

MEPs recognize the opportunities for job creation and increased supply associated with platforms, but are concerned about the precariousness and poor working conditions that proliferate in the sector.

They warn that face-to-face workers are often subject to health and safety risks, including accidents with machinery, and stress that they must receive the necessary protective equipment. Those who work in transport and delivery tasks must be guaranteed accident insurance, they add.

The report stresses that the operation of the algorithms used for assigning tasks, grades, pricing and fees, and deactivation procedures must be transparent and understandable, and clearly communicated. Workers must be able to answer the decisions made by algorithms, which, in addition, must be subject to human supervision.

Platform workers use an app (like Uber) or a website (like Amazon Turk or Helpling) to offer services to customers in exchange for payment. Currently, many platforms present platform work as an atypical form of employment. Therefore, the working conditions and social rights of platform workers are not enshrined in standard labor regulation, leaving many platform workers with less protection than workers. offline and creates unfair competition between gig economy and traditional companies.

The socialist MEP Lina Gálvez has defended in the debate: “It is not tolerable that the jobs of digital platforms are below labor standards. We urge that there be human control behind the algorithms, training of companies on the algorithms and transparency about personal information”.

The head of the Podemos delegation in the European Parliament, María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, for her part, argued in plenary session: “We defend the recognition of the presumption of employment of those who provide services through platforms to fight against the figure of the false self-employed: We reject the creation of a ‘third status’ intermediate between self-employment and paid employment because it precarious employment and weakens labor and social protection; regulate algorithms in a transparent way. Behind the marketing of “flexibility” and ” innovation “hides a reduction in tax and contribution income, which translates into fewer resources to invest in social spending. uberization It does not affect only certain sectors: it is a predatory model. ”