European Union member states expressed support on Monday for a bill that would force companies such as Uber and Deliveroo to treat their workers as employees, a potentially radical overhaul of the gig economy’s business model.
Discussions are scheduled to start soon to prepare a draft law in this regard between the European Council, which represents member states, and the European Parliament, which previously supported this change in February.
The European Commission proposed this comprehensive reform for the first time in December 2021, but it came under sharp criticism from delivery services platforms that currently include 28 million workers in the European Union.
The conglomerate previously considered that passing the legislation would help reclassify five million workers at platforms in the EU countries as full-time employees.
Under the European Council’s plan, workers would have to meet at least three of the seven EU criteria for reclassification, which could force many companies to offer them protection under labor laws.
The initial proposal had stated that at least two of the five criteria must be met.
“The council’s approach strikes a good balance between protecting workers and securing the legal framework for the platforms that employ them,” Sweden’s Minister for Gender Equality and Work Life, Paulina Brandberg, said in a statement.
But delivery platform Europe, which represents Uber, Deliveroo and other companies, was displeased with the bill and hoped the discussions would lead to further changes.
“While the text approved today carries more clarity than the original proposal, it continues to fail to draw a sufficiently clear line between employment and self-employment and does little to improve the situation for the self-employed,” she said.
The new rules also require more transparency into how platforms use algorithms to monitor workers and make decisions.