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EU moves step closer to strengthened gig workers' rights, as ministers reach agreement

A deliveroo logo is seen on a bicycle in London, July 11, 2017.
A deliveroo logo is seen on a bicycle in London, July 11, 2017. Copyright Frank Augstein/AP Photo
Copyright Frank Augstein/AP Photo
By Aida Sanchez Alonso
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Some countries argue the deal does not go far enough.

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The EU has moved a step closer to improving the working conditions of platform workers, after months of impasse was overcome on Monday by the bloc's labour ministers.

An agreement was reached in Brussels between member states on what their negotiating position should be with the other EU institutions, granting a certain number of rights to drivers and delivery riders in the process.

The deal establishes that platform - or gig - workers have to fulfil three out of seven criteria to be considered employees. These include the ability to fix the amount of money for a ride, turning down work or choosing their appearance.

If they are considered employees, they will be entitled to labour rights like paid holiday or sick leave.

The agreement also reduces the power of the algorithms that distribute tasks and preferences in the allocation of time slots.

But five countries, including Germany and Spain consider it not ambitious enough and hope that the next step - negotiations with the European Parliament - push the agreement forward.

Ludovic Voet, Confederal Secretary at the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC), is in agreement with this position.

"It is for sure less ambitious because it's discussing putting extra hurdles with three criteria and not two criteria. It is also discussing the possibility to have national derogations," Voet told Euronews.

"So, it's not taking the first principle of the objective of the Commission proposal that is granting the workers the rights that they deserve."

The battle and the intense lobby by companies, such as Uber, will continue as they still believe the text does not give them enough certainty.

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