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MEPs call for the rights of gig economy workers to be strengthened

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The rules for gig economy or platform workers vary across the continent, with some countries not affording them the basic rights given to other employees
The rules for gig economy or platform workers vary across the continent, with some countries not affording them the basic rights given to other employees   -   Copyright  EBU
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MEPs are calling for the rights of so-called gig economy workers to be strengthened, after voting in favour of equal labour conditions for them on Wednesday.

The rules for gig economy or platform workers vary across the continent, with some countries not affording them the basic rights given to other workers.

European lawmakers now want the European Commission to come forward with a proposal to protect them with these same fundamental rights.

For the MEP in charge of the report, Özlem Demirel, it’s all about tackling poverty in the workforce

"They are called self-employed and things like that and they have worse working conditions. They don't have good wages. They have no job security. For me, it is important that a framework is given and that they are seen as workers and that they can unite in trade unions and fight for collective agreements and for better wages," Demirel told Euronews.

The European Commission must now decide whether or not it will come forward with proposals to strengthen platform workers' rights.

Separately, it presented a proposal for an EU directive on an adequate minimum wage last October, aimed at fighting in-work poverty.

And with 9.4 per cent of the EU's workforce, roughly 19 million people, living in poverty, the 27-member bloc wants to lower this number significantly.

MEPs welcomed the idea of this new directive Wednesday in the same report on platform workers, ensuring that statutory minimum wages are, where applicable, always set above the poverty threshold.

But for Esther Lynch, the deputy general secretary of the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) the directive should allow for the difference in the cost of living that varies significantly across European countries.

"It needs to take into account how much rent is (costs), how much food is, whether there is free childcare."