Platform workers will enjoy ‘employee’ status: European Commission’s draft directive

The directive will help bring stability to the work status of people working through digital labour platforms, and give them a sense of security

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In what could be a landmark decision, European Commission has issued a draft directive that is going to grant platform workers the status of ‘employees’.

Platform workers are people who are employed by an organisation to carry out services using an online platform, such as delivery drivers for Swiggy, Zomato and similar companies.

The Commission published the press release on its site, titled, ‘Commission proposals to improve the working conditions of people working through digital labour platforms’.

The proposed directive is aimed at ensuring that people working through digital-labour platforms enjoy the legal employment status corresponding to their actual work arrangements. It lists the control criteria for ‘employer’ status of the platform. If at least two of the criteria listed under ‘Directive on improving working conditions in platform work’ are met, the platform can be legally presumed to be an employer.

According to the directive, the workers would be called employees even if their contracts state otherwise.

This may turn out to be a very progressive step in creating a sense of job security for platform workers. While the digital platforms witnessed a spike in business during the pandemic, their workers left feeling uncertain about their earnings and place in the companies. By elevating their status to that of ‘employees’, the European Commission has given them a better sense of stability and security now.

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