And the EU Gets Serious About the Gig Economy
At the core of gig economy firms has been their willingness to use regulatory arbitrage (cheating) and labor arbitrage (wage theft) to generate revenue.
It appears that the EU is looking to shut those doors:
Companies that run food delivery and ride-hailing apps are concerned that the European Union will push for gig workers to be considered employees rather than self-employed under a forthcoming proposal aimed at bolstering their labor rights.
The draft European Commission proposal, seen by Bloomberg, would apply to any company that controls digital workers’ performance by determining pay, controlling communication with customers, or offering future work based on previous performance — a move that would be sure to hit companies like Uber Technologies Inc., Deliveroo PLC and Bolt Technology OU if implemented.
These workers would have the “rebuttable presumption of employment,” according to the draft, which would mean there is an employment arrangement no matter how the contract is worded.
Platforms that rely on gig work are pushing back against the commission’s plans, which they argue risk putting food delivery workers and drivers out of work. They warn against stricter rules like those implemented by Spain, which prompted Deliveroo to pull out of the country and cost thousands of food delivery workers their jobs.
I’m not sure if it cost thousands of food delivery workers their jobs, or if it cost thousands of food delivery workers their Deliveroo jobs.
If the operation was profitable, as opposed to a VC funded loss leader nose under the tent, these people found equivalent, and probably BETTER jobs with other delivery services.
One goal of the commission’s final proposal is to ensure workers are properly classified to proect their rights and allow them to access social security schemes, a commission spokesperson said, without commenting specifically on the draft proposal. The EU is also pushing for more transparency over the apps’ algorithms, as well as data on the apps and their workers.
Good. More openness regarding the algorithms and the employment status of their workers is a good thing.
If these companies cannot exist under those conditions, let me quote P.C. Hodgell, “That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be.”