Proposal for a Directive on improving working conditions in platform work

Author (Corporate)
Series Details COM (2021) 762
Publication Date 09/12/2021
Content Type , ,


Legislative initiative tabled by the European Commission on 9 December 2021, aimed at improving the working conditions in platform work and supporting the sustainable growth of digital labour platforms in the European Union (EU). This is a text with EEA relevance.

Further information:

Digital labour platforms have created new opportunities, and improved access to services. However, it has also become increasingly difficult to correctly classify the employment status of people, leading in some cases to inadequate labour rights and social protection. In addition, the use of algorithms in platform work can raise questions of accountability and transparency.

The European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) highlights the workers' right to fair and equal treatment regarding working conditions and access to social protection, regardless of the type and duration of the employment relationship. In her Political Guidelines, the President of the European Commission stated that digital transformation brought fast change that affects labour markets, and vowed to look at ways to improve the labour conditions of platform workers.

This draft Directive aims to deliver on this commitment and support the implementation of the EPSR Action Plan. The objectives include ensuring that people working through platforms hold the correct employment status and gain access to the applicable labour and social protection rights; ensuring fairness, transparency and accountability in algorithmic management in the platform work context; enhancing transparency, traceability and awareness of developments in platform work and improve enforcement of the applicable rules.

The initiative was adopted by the European Commission on 9 December 2021, alongside an explanatory Communication.

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Commentary and Analysis
Reshaping Work: Blog: Regulating platform work: reflections on the proposed EU Directive
EurActiv, 19/11/2021: Between flexibility and precariousness, all eyes are on Brussels’ move on platform workers
Social Europe, 08/12/2021: Regulating digital work: from laisser-faire to fairness
European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF), 08/12/2021: EU takes long-overdue first step towards fair platform work
Politico, 09/12/2021: 5 things to know about the EU’s gig worker plans
Fairwork: Blog, 09/12/2021: Fairwork Response to the European Commission’s Proposal for a Directive on Platform Work
Social Europe, 09/12/2021: European Commission takes the lead in regulating platform work
University of Oxford: Faculty of Law: Oxford Human Rights Hub, 09/12/2021: Improving Working Conditions in the Gig Economy: The EU’s Proposed Platform Work Directive
Lancaster University: Work Foundation Blog, 09/12/2021: What new EU Commission proposals may mean for platforms and gig workers in the UK
European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC): Press Release, 09/12/2021: EU ends free ride for platforms
Maastricht University: Blog, 11/12/2021: Is the EU en route to fairer working conditions in the gig economy?
Noerr: News, 14/12/2021: Bogus self-employment: European Commission tackles platform work (gig economy)
Egmont Institute: Commentary, 14/12/2021: Addressing regulatory gaps in the booming platform economy : A look at the social and economic implications of the EU proposal on platform workers
Verfassungsblog, 14/12/2021: The EU’s Proposed Platform Work Directive. A Promising Step
EPRS: Briefing, February 2022: Improving the working conditions of platform workers
White&Case: Alert, 15/02/2022: Platform workers: The European Commission proposes a presumption of employment
Bird&Bird: Insights, 03/03/2022: Proposal of EU-Directive on improving working conditions in platform work sets out new requirements to digital platforms
BBC Worklife, 09/03/2022: Why gig work is so hard to regulate
Friedrich Ebert Foundation: IPS Journal, 21/03/2022: In the EU, platform workers scored a victory
University of Oxford: Law Faculty Blog, 17/05/2022: Finetuning the EU’s Platform Work Directive
Politico: Opinion, 06/06/2022: Digital workers prioritize flexibility — not employment

EurActiv, 09/12/2021: EU launches bid to regulate gig economy
The Guardian, 09/12/2021: Gig economy workers to get employee rights under EU proposals
Public Broadcastic Corporation (PBS), 09/12/2021: EU plans to improve conditions for gig economy workers by classifying them as employees
Euronews, 09/12/2021: New EU rules could turn 4.1 million gig workers into regular employees
The New York Times, 09/12/2021: Europe Pushes New Rules Turning Gig Workers Into Employees
EurActiv, 10/05/2022: Leading MEP pushes for tight employment protection in platform workers directive
EurActiv, 11/05/2022: Conservatives prepare to battle on platform workers directive, rally up with industry
EurActiv, 23/05/2022: Platform workers: French presidency clings to criteria approach

EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)395: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Subsidiarity Grid
EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)396: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Impact Assessment Report
EUR-LEX: SWD(2021)397: Staff Working Document accompanying the Proposal - Executive Summary of the Impact Assessment Report
European Parliament: Legislative Observatory: Procedure File for Proposal on Improving working conditions of persons working through digital labour platforms (2021/0414(COD))
European Parliament: Legislative Train Schedule: Initiative to improve the working conditions of people working in the platform economy
General Secretariat of the Council: Policies: EU rules on platform work
European Commission: Press Release, 09/12/2021: Commission proposals to improve the working conditions of people working through digital labour platforms
European Commission: Questions and answers: Improving working conditions in platform work (9 December 2021)
European Commission: Remarks by Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis at the press conference on Improving the working conditions in platform work and on the Action plan for the social economy (9 December 2021)
European Commission: Opening remarks by Commissioner Schmit at the press conference on Platform Work and the Social Economy Action Plan (9 December 2021)
Finnish Government: Press Release, 09/12/2021: Commission issues proposal to improve working conditions in platform work
EPP EP Group: Newsroom, 09/12/2021: Platform workers are not avatars on a screen, but real people with rights
GUE/NGL EP Group: News, 09/12/2021: Proposed gig economy directive a step forward for workers’ rights

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