Tuesday, June 18, 2019
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EU offers minimum floor of rights for "uberised" workers

Has the European Union just offered first hope to platform workers? Following the adoption of new legislation on Tuesday by MEPs with 466 votes in favor (145 against and 37 abstentions), people exercising "Jobs" will benefit from a minimum base of rights in the European Union. Including, in theory, when they are used via platforms like delivery company Deliveroo or multinational Uber. The new rights will have to be implemented within three years at the latest by the Member States with which this legislation has been negotiated. "This directive is the first giant step towards the implementation of the European pillar of social rights and thus affects all EU workers", welcomed the rapporteur of the text, the Spanish Liberal MEP Enrique Calvet Chambon.

Who is concerned ?

The directive applies to all persons occupying so-called "atypical" jobs, which are the most poorly protected: short-term employees, intermittent employees, or even "on-demand" workers. In France, numerous procedures are under way in the industrial tribunals, particularly against Uber, to make recognize the subordination link that links platforms to workers. According to the actors of these files, it is also a way to obtain a form of counterpart, when they consider themselves today aggrieved by the absence of arbitration on their status. "Making the disguised wage earners recognized by the labor courts is the only recourse available", regrets Sayah Baaroun, general secretary of the union of private drivers VTC. The legislation adopted on Tuesday includes them in theory and offers them a first favorable signal. The European Parliament quotes precisely in a statement the example of Uber transport services or Deliveroo delivery.

The problem, according to the companies concerned, is that the directive does not apply to self-employed workers, whereas it is the status almost exclusively used by the platforms. It is on this line that defended the company Deliveroo directly targeted by the legislation. "Deliverymen are independent", and so they are "Not concerned by this directive"said a spokesman for Deliveroo's delivery company. This status "Allows them to work when, where and if they want it", added the company. Arguments also supported by industrial lawyers by the lawyers of the platforms concerned and which constitute for the moment their only line of defense.

What definition of worker?

"Uber and Deliveroo think they will not be concerned, but in the legislation that was passed, a new definition of the worker was inscribed. It's not Uber or Deliveroo who decides on the definition and who determines whether they are self-employed or not. ", it was pointed out Release on the side of the European Parliament. Proof that judicial combat pays for uberized workers, this definition is based on recent jurisprudence of the Court of Justice of the European Union that redefines the relationship of subordination that binds them to platforms. Available on the internet, the adopted text specifies: "In its case-law, the Court of Justice of the European Union has established appropriate criteria for determining the status of a worker. The Court of Justice's interpretation of these criteria should be taken into account in the implementation of this Directive. Provided they meet these criteria, domestic workers, on-demand workers, intermittent workers, workers doing "check" work, platform workers, trainees and apprentices could enter the field of this Directive. ' It is also stated: "The abuse of self-employed status, in the sense of national law, at the national level or in cross-border situations, is a form of falsely reported work that is frequently associated with undeclared work."

"I get the impression that it's in their favor, they still talk about" abuse of the status of self-employed worker ""responded by Jerome Pimot, spokesman of the Collective of Parisian autonomous deliverers (Clap). "I wish it were a little bit more sharp, because the article advises states but imposes nothing, but it's positive"he continued. "Sooner or later, it will stop this masquerade. There are only two possible statuses: the status of the decision maker who assumes the consequences, and the status of the performer, that of the employee ", said Sayah Baaroun.

What does the legislation contain?

"We need flexibility, but there are many workers who do not benefit from rules", is there justification in the European Parliament to explain the vote? The new rights included in the directive adopted on Tuesday include a "Increased transparency" : workers should be informed of the main conditions of their employment contract (mission, remuneration, schedules) "since the first day" and "At the latest up to seven days" after the start of their employment. They could "To refuse, without consequences, an assignment outside the predetermined hours". "The employer should not prohibit, punish or prevent workers who accept jobs in other companies if this does not impinge on the working hours established with this employer," said the European Parliament in a statement. Otherwise, "The compulsory training provided must be provided free of charge by the employer and be included in the working time".

Gurvan Kristanadjaja

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