The European Parliament has introduced a new set of rules which safeguard the rights of gig economy workers, who have largely remained unrecognised and therefore unprotected in terms of employment law – until now.
These general rules seek to cover every type of employment relationship under the sun, meaning all situations where a worker is performing services for a particular amount of time for a specific person or entity, and is subsequently remunerated for his services by this same person or entity. Naturally therefore, the new rules would not apply to “genuinely self-employed” persons.
Gig economy workers have largely stood as a particularly vulnerable group of workers. Recent estimates have concluded that there are around 3 million persons in the EU who can be recognised as these kinds of workers.
The new directive aims to set minimum rights for such employees, to propose systems for more predictable and reasonable hours of work, together with compensation for cancelled work, in an effort to cease the “abusive practices” in this sort of employment.
Together with this new law, the Parliament has stated that Court of Justice jurisprudence shall also be taken into account when the new rules are being interpreted.
EU member states must implement the content of the directives within 3 years, while the UK will only be obliged to do so unless it leaves the EU within these 3 years. Nonetheless, a similar piece of legislation has already been passed in 2018 in the UK, basically providing a similar set of protective measures for gig economy workers.