PES EPSCO ministers push for ambitious Platform Work Directive

European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit addresses PES EPSCO ministers, Brussels, Belgium, 8 December 2022

European Commissioner Nicolas Schmit addresses PES EPSCO ministers, Brussels, Belgium, 8 December 2022

Ahead of today’s EU Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO), ministers from the Party of European Socialists (PES) met at the PES headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss socialist priorities for the future of work.

Socialists and democrats have led the fight to ensure all workers can live in dignity and fully participate in society. The proposal for a Directive on improving working conditions in platform work is the next step to make work fair for all. Socialists are committed to delivering an ambitious Directive. Unfortunately, the position put forward by the Czech Presidency in Council risks watering the text down.

Ana Mendes Godinho, PES EPSCO Chair and Portugal’s Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, said:

“With this Directive, we can make life better for the 28 million people involved in platform work in the EU. It can be a real breakthrough for fair work in Europe. We are convinced that platform workers are either employees and must then be guaranteed the rights associated with this status. Or they are self-employed and must be in a position to make full use of their entrepreneurial freedom. This is the aim of the Directive Nicolas Schmit proposed.

“Throughout the process, we have fought for a Directive that clarifies the status of workers, puts the burden of proof on the employer, protects workers against algorithm abuse and ensures the respect of collective rights. Both in Parliament and Council we are reaching a key stage. We want to make sure both institutions deliver a strong position, in the spirit of the original Commission proposal, for an effective Directive that grants platform workers access to standard labour rights and does not leave loopholes open for bogus self-employment in platform work.”

The EU Council will vote on the Directive in the coming days, then the European Parliament will also consider the proposal. Socialists and democrats want a strong Directive, that effectively protects platform workers.

PES EPSCO ministers also exchanged on other issues on the social agenda, including next steps for a new SURE, the Council Recommendations on Minimum Income, and the European Semester and economic governance.

The meeting was attended by:

  • Ana Mendes Godinho, Chair and Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Portugal
  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, European Commission
  • Frank Vandenbroucke, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Belgium
  • Peep Peterson, Minister of Health and Labour, Estonia
  • Tuula Haatainen, Minister of Employment, Finland
  • Rolf Schmachtenberg, State Secretary at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Georges Engel, Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Luxembourg
  • Cristian Vasilcoiu, State Secretary to the Minister for Labour and Social Solidarity Protection, Romania
  • Esther Lynch, General Secretary, ETUC
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES