Choose your language

Upfront EU-wide criteria needed to maintain self-employment in Europe
EU | Brussels

Upfront EU-wide criteria needed to maintain self-employment in Europe

29 Aug 2023 · People

Industry representatives warn that the lack of pre-established EU-wide criteria on employment relationships in the Platform Workers Directive could be detrimental for small and medium-sized businesses and self-employed workers.

IRU, HOTREC and CEEMET – representing road transport operators, hospitality and the metal, engineering and technology-based industries – have called upon legislators to agree on upfront EU-wide criteria to determine the existence of an employment relationship in the Platform Workers Directive, as provided in the Council’s General Approach.

IRU Director of EU Advocacy Raluca Marian said, “A simple collaboration between an individual and a platform should not necessarily be classified as an employment relationship.

“Moreover, applying criteria at a later stage, after the relation has already been treated as employment, as proposed by the European Parliament, would discourage businesses from collaborating with genuine self-employed workers.”

“The self-employment model has been used in the EU since its inception, in full accordance with national laws. There is no reason to eliminate this model simply because some market players are taking advantage of the system. They should rather embrace the system, not change it to suit their needs at the expense of everyone else,” she added.

Industry solution

To safeguard genuine self-employment in the Platform Workers Directive and support legal certainty, IRU, HOTREC and CEEMET urge negotiators to closely follow the Council’s General Approach. 

In particular, negotiators should establish EU-wide criteria that classify the relation as employment or self-employment from the outset, maintain national appeal systems, and allow platforms to collaborate with genuine self-employed workers without receiving the status of employer when acting in compliance with specific national legislation or collective agreements. 

“We count on the negotiators to support a balanced text with mandatory, upfront EU-wide criteria determining the employment relationship. This is essential to maintain self-employment throughout Europe, while simultaneously avoiding unnecessary legal complications for genuine self-employed individuals, employers and authorities in Member States,” concluded Raluca Marian.