BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission announced on Thursday draft rules to give workers at online platform companies such as Uber and Deliveroo better social rights, but which companies say could lead to job losses and more litigation in court.
The proposal, a global first that needs to be thrashed out with EU countries and EU lawmakers before it can become law, marks the latest attempt by the European Union to regulate tech companies and ensure a level playing field.
Online platform companies that set pay and standards of conduct for their workers will have to classify them as employees entitled to a minimum wage, paid holidays and pension rights, according to the draft rules.
The companies will also be considered an employer if they supervise the performance of work through electronic means, restrict workers’ ability to choose their working hours or tasks, and prevent them from working for third parties.
The rules will also require ride-hailing, food delivery apps and other companies to be more transparent on how they use algorithms to monitor and evaluate workers and to set tasks and fees. Employees can ask for compensation for breaches.
The EU executive said the draft rules could apply to between 1.7 million and 4.1 million workers from the 28 million working at more than 500 online platform companies across the 27-country bloc.
“Genuine self-employed on platforms will be protected through enhanced legal certainty on their status and there will be new safeguards against the pitfalls of algorithmic management. This is an important step towards a more social digital economy,” the EU’s digital chief Margrethe Vestager said in a statement.
(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Philip Blenkinsop)