New proposals put forward for broader EU regulation over digital platform work

Amongst other things, the proposed EU Directive aims to improve enforcement of the applicable rules for all people working through platforms

Last Updated on Tuesday, 17 May, 2022 at 1:52 pm by Andre Camilleri

RecruitGiant, Malta’s largest food courier fleet operator, is spearheading efforts to ensure a new EU Directive of improving working conditions in digital platform work delivers on its stated objectives.

The proposed Directive aims to ensure workers obtain the correct employment status together with access to labour and social protection rights and ensure fairness, transparency and accountability in algorithmic management in the platform work context. It also aims to improve enforcement of the applicable rules for all people working through platforms, including those operating across borders.

Following discussions on the issue of digital platform work in the EU with the Foresight Centre, an independent think tank at the Estonian Parliament which aims to analyse long term developments in society, RecruitGiant has now put forward a number of suggestions to the European Parliament’s Employment and Social Affairs Committee (EMPL). These suggestions aim to ensure that certain loopholes which may result in operators continuing to abuse employees are closed.

Tomas Mikalauskas, CEO at RecuitGiant, said, “As consumers we all enjoy the benefits of digital platform work, whether it’s getting our favourite take-away or jumping in a taxi at the click of an icon. But all of us also know that many of the people providing us with these services are being exploited. Unfortunately, even though existing laws and guidelines are in place, the Maltese authorities, including the Department of Industrial and Employment Relations and the Commissioner for Revenue seem unwilling, or unable, to enforce these. Therefore, our hope is that the proposed EU Directive will help us move towards a properly regulated industry and so we are taking proactive steps to put forward suggestions which we feel will make the directive more impactful.”

Among the suggestions being put forward to the EMPL is the idea that the proposed EU level regulatory framework covering digital platform work covers a broader scope than currently envisaged to ensure it specifically caters for the definition of ‘working time’. RecruitGiant’s proposals also call for platform workers to be properly classified with clear distinctions between workers and self-employed and to guarantee that the implementation of such classifications does not in fact create more loopholes for platform operators. Furthermore, the proposals include a focus on guaranteeing that the relationship between digital platforms (such as Bolt and Wolt) and the chartered fleets which they use is also properly defined and regulated and that digital platforms must be responsible for ensuring that their contractors and any other third-party operators (legal entities) follow the regulatory guidelines and rules in the jurisdiction they operate in.

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