SEN: finalise strong platform work directive now to help millions of workers

Members of the PES SEN meeting in person and online

Members of the PES SEN meeting in person and online

It’s time Europe guaranteed proper rights for 28 million platform workers – that was the message from progressive politicians and social partners meeting today in the Social Europe Network (SEN) of the Party of European Socialists (PES).

The PES SEN – which is made up of representatives of PES member parties and organisations, MEPs, and NGOs – took stock of the ongoing negotiations on the Directive on improving working conditions in platform work. They commended progressive negotiators – from the Council and Parliament – for defending against conservative and liberal attempts to water down the proposal.

Meeting Chair and PvdA MEP, Agnes Jongerius, said:

“We were disappointed to see no movement on the part of the Council in the second trilogue on the platform work directive. Europe has 28 million platform workers and they need a strong, positive, outcome to these negotiations.

“For too long, platform workers have existed in a regulatory grey zone which denies them the rights they are entitled to. A good directive must transform their conditions for the better. That is what we are focused on achieving and we will not stop until we get it.”

The PES is focused on achieving a strong platform work directive – as proposed by European Commissioner for Social Rights Nicolas Schmit – by the end of this mandate. Yesterday, PES EPSCO ministers doubled down on their commitment to the directive.

The SEN also held an exchange of view on public procurement, reiterating once again that public authorities must promote quality jobs and high social standards in the production of the goods and services that they commission. Examining good practice examples, the meeting discussed public procurement reform in Germany and Portugal, exchanging respectively with SPD MP Sebastian Roloff and PS MP Ana Bernardo.

Another key discussion topic was how to improve access to and adequacy of essential and public services. Participants highlighted the importance of public services especially for vulnerable communities and underserved areas. In the face of recent crises, robust essential and public services are at the heart of resilient and inclusive societies. 

The Network also examined progressive proposals to address labour shortages in Europe. With a majority of European companies reporting difficulties finding qualified employees, the Network underlined the need for action to support good quality employment and job attractiveness, especially in sectors central to the green and digital transition

Local Employment Guarantees, quality traineeships, and the right to disconnect were also on the agenda of the meeting as key areas where Europe’s socialist family is pushing for progress.