On 9 December 2021, the European Commission published its proposal for a Directive on improving working conditions in platform work. While Ceemet agrees to the objective to ensure that people working in a platform receive the correct employment status in line with national legislation, we consider that it is not for the EU level to regulate this issue. It should rather be left to the national level as Member States are better suited to take action in this respect.
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- Ceemet considers that the EU is not the best level to establish criteria to determine whether a person performing platform work is legally presumed to be in an employment relationship. We are of the opinion that the Member States are best placed to take measures in this respect, fully in line with their national legislation and practices. EU action in this regard may undermine and collide with national frameworks already in place and it gravely oversteps the EU’s competences in this respect.
- The definition of a ‘digital labour platform’ is too broad and may have extensive, unintended consequences such as the requalification of genuine self-employed people in employees. Also companies that are no labour platforms as such risk to fall under the scope of the Directive due to this wording. Such a wide definition may have severe consequences for important business models that offer flexibility and expert knowledge for the Metal, Engineering and Technology-based (MET) industry in Europe.
- When a person performing platform work is correctly classified as an employee according to national law and practices, the applicable EU and national labour and social law will automatically apply to that person. Therefore, Ceemet does not see the need to add the rights deriving from chapter III and IV to persons that are considered employees as they are already protected by the applicable labour legislation. Furthermore, applying these rules to self-employed people is incompatible with several national systems as in many Member States, provisions related to self-employment are regulated by the general contract law.
- In chapter V, the Commission goes far beyond its competences as matters regarding national legal proceedings fall under the prerogative of the Member States. This should be left to the national level to be regulated in line with their national legislation and practices.