Go to content
Back to news

Platform Work: Trade Unions Win For Millions Of Workers

Trade Unions Win For Millions Of Workers

Millions of people working through digital platforms are set to finally obtain minimum wages, sick pay and other employment protections following the adoption of the platform work directive today by EU member states.

Trade unions were successful in including the presumption of employment with the reversal of the burden of proof. Instead of individual workers going through lengthy court processes to prove they are a worker, it will now be up to the platform corporations to prove they are not employees.

The directive also recognises the role of trade unions in all aspects of the platform economy, including on issues such as algorithm management. Despite calls for weakening these provisions, they were left untouched, confirming the strong need for the collective bargaining in the platform economy.

The number of people working through digital platforms is set to grow to 43 million people by the end of the year, according to the European Council.

Commenting on the vote, Ludovic Voet, Confederal Secretary of the ETUC, said: “Today’s decision means that millions of people working through digital platforms will no longer be cheated out of the minimum wages, sick pay, holiday pay and social security.” He added: “Joining forces at European level was crucial to secure this legislation, which is the first of its kind globally. The strong commitment of workers’ allies in the European Parliament and Council got this over the line.”

UNI Europa Regional Secretary Oliver Roethig said: “This is a milestone for the rights of millions of platform workers across the EU and towards a more Social Europe. Now, member states must ensure that digital labour platforms don’t avoid their responsibilities as employers any longer and engage in social dialogue and collective bargaining.”