The challenges the European Commission identifies on working conditions in platform work are real and need to be addressed. However, these challenges are not exclusively linked to platform work and appear beyond this form of work.
Also, the range of variety of work arrangements makes is difficult to generalize as everything exists from self-employment to employment contracts. This excludes EU level, binding, legislation as the most efficient tool to address the challenges of working conditions. It is indeed at national level, in line with regulations and traditions taking into account the diversity of national labour markets and the role of social partners, that the most adapted and tailor made solutions can be found.
Platform work is a new way of working and of organising work. Nevertheless, it is important to highlight that it does not constitute a legal form of work as such. The diversity of contractual arrangements that it covers is already regulated at national level and EU level. In addition to that, the EU cannot define the employment status in platform work, nor introduce any other category or subcategory at EU level, as this is typically a national competence.
Hence, Ceemet’s recommendation to work on a proper enforcement and implementation of existing rules. This is the most effective way to address and improve the working conditions in platform work. The value adding role for the EU lies in fostering the exchange of information and best practices on how Member States deal with the legal uncertainties and challenges linked to certain contractual arrangements in platform work.
As a final point, Ceemet highlights that platform work is not a sector-specific issue. The metal, engineering and technology-based (MET) industries sector that Ceemet represents are practically not impacted by platform work: the use of platform work in the MET industries is highly residual.
With such a low level of platform work in a main industry sector, the risk of overregulation becomes real. This would hinder the competitiveness of companies that have, for example, difficulties in accessing a highly skilled workforce “on-site” as well as the flexibility and autonomy that the majority of people working and/or offering services through a platform are looking for.
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