More protection for flexible employees
Protecting employees in the so called “platform economy” has been of current interest. Previously, the Dutch courts had to decide whether or not the contract between Deliveroo and her riders need to be qualified as employment contracts or assignment contracts. The call for better employment conditions for the flexible employee, was heard by the European Parliament, which resulted in a new Directive.
Transparency and predictability
The new Directive provides minimum entitlements to employees with short term contracts, on call contracts, occasional workers, employees who work based on a voucher system, employees of online platforms (such as Uber or Deliveroo) and paid interns. The goal of the Directive is to improve employment conditions by promoting a more transparent and more predictable labour market. According to the Directive, as from day one of the employment, employees need to be informed better about their rights and obligations. The content of the position must be clear, as well as the starting date, duration of the contract and benefits. Also, the employees must be informed about reference days or hours in case of unpredictable work rota.
For on call-employees or employees with a similar contract, it must be possible to refuse a call for work without consequences if it falls outside certain reference days. Also, the employees will be entitled to compensation in case an assignment is not cancelled on time. Lastly, the employer must provide trainings to the employee for free, which must be offered within working time.
EU member states, will have to implement the Directive in their national legislation within 3 years. Whether the Directive will indeed change the position of flexible employees, is yet unclear. Up until now, Deliveroo has not been willing to treat the riders as employees and state that these are freelancers and therefore are not protected by the Directive.