17 June 2021
What type of employment status will platform workers hold? Planet Labor compares several countries’ regulatory responses
In recent years, court decisions internationally have increasingly been reclassifying the link between a worker and a work platform as an employment contract. In response, more and more governments are seeking to regulate and frame how these new forms of work develop. How can this new economic model become sustainable and how can workers be protected? Is the employee status indispensable? What social protection and working conditions should apply to platform workers? Planet Labor has reviewed the legal and...
17 June 2021
On 15 June the European Commission launched the second stage consultation of European social partners on better protecting people working through platforms. This follows the Commission’s first consultation stage (c.f. article No.12304) that took place between 24 February and 07 April 2021, and that led to the Commission concluding there was a need for ‘further EU action to ensure basic labour standards and rights to people working through platforms measures’; a need made only more acute by the Covid-19...
27 May 2021
Great Britain: UK becomes the first and currently only country where Uber allows workers to unionize
Uber has signed a landmark agreement with the GMB union that allows the union to represent its approximately 70,000 within the UK. This landmark deal marks a departure from the ride-hailing company’s longstanding opposition to any form of union representation. The agreement allows GMB representatives to now contact drivers and discuss significant issues with the group, even if Uber still refuses to set up any real collective bargaining system.
12 May 2021
Spain’s government has approved the so-called ‘Riders’ Law, which frames the status of home delivery platform workers. The text, published as a decree-law in the Official State Bulletin (BOE) on 12 May, recognizes these workers as employees, whereas until now they were considered self-employed. This change now requires companies to pay social contributions for these employees and it also opens their right to leave periods and social protection.
23 March 2021
Canada: government launches consultation on protections for ‘Gig Workers’ and on a ‘Right to Disconnect’ for federally regulated workers
Adapting labour rights to ensure that they are consistent with ‘the new realities of Canadian workers.’ Thus the government’s objective announced on 18 March with the launch of an online consultation on ‘gig work’ and ‘the right to disconnect.’ The government’s Labour Minister Filomena Tassi has explained that this collaboration with employers, unions and organizations...
4 February 2021
On 01 February, while presenting the national budget for fiscal year 2021-2022, India’s Minister of Finance announced the government’s will to extend social protection to those living in the ‘gig economy, namely freelance workers, online platform workers, sub-contracting workers and agency workers.’
10 December 2020
After recently adopting a similar approach in other European countries, the mobile app-based home food delivery giant Just Eat is starting to end its practice of paying per completed job. This gig economy arena revolution means Just Eat drivers can earn at least the minimum hourly wage and enjoy social benefits rights. Between now and March, more than 1,000 employment contracts will be created in London, be they part-time, full-time, or zero hour contracts (i.e. those that guarantee neither working time nor...
16 November 2020
United Kingdom: High Court rules that European directives on safety protections at work should apply to gig economy “workers”
On 13 November, the UK’s High Court ruled that the country’s government had failed to properly transpose European directives by not extending rules on health and safety protections to “workers”. This unprecedented decision, which follows a judicial review called for by the Independent Workers of Great Britain (IWGB), should enable many gig economy workers to get access to personal protective equipment (PPE) in order to protect themselves from Covid-19.
10 July 2020
United Kingdom: High Court permits union to challenge government on lack of protections for gig economy workers
On 9 July, the Independent Workers Union of Great Britain revealed that the UK High Court has granted the union permission to challenge health and safety legislation in the country. Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the IWGB will be able to proceed with a so-called judicial review and ask for a judge to rule on whether the UK government has failed in its obligation to transpose health and safety directives from EU law into UK law. The IWGB believes that, although according to the European directives all workers...
9 March 2020
United Kingdom: delivery firm Hermes sets aside support fund for gig workers amid coronavirus outbreak
German delivery firm Hermes announced on 6 March that it would set aside a £1 million (€1.15m) support fund for its 15,000 independent delivery workers in the UK, in the event that they have to self-isolate because of the coronavirus. Martijn De Lange, CEO at Hermes UK, says: “It is simply the right thing to do and I hope that other organisations will follow our lead.” The group has also pledged to help its self-employed delivery workers to find a replacement if necessary and has committed to ensuring they...