PES employment and social affairs ministers: it is time to step up and improve conditions for platform workers

02/12/2021

PES EPSCO ministerial

PES EPSCO ministerial

As the platform economy grows, so must protections for people working in the sector. This was the message as employment and social affairs ministers from the Party of European Socialists met today to exchange on the upcoming European Commission’s Platform Workers Proposal and how it can improve working conditions.

Defending workers’ rights has always been a priority for socialists and democrats. With around 11% of the EU workforce saying that they have already provided services through a platform – such as Uber, Deliveroo, and others - progressives are pushing to ensure platform workers enjoy the same rights and protections as workers in the traditional economy.

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

“Defending workers’ rights has always been our political family’s priority. We have witnessed the fast-paced growth of platform work across Europe, while our concern for workers’ rights across the whole EU also grows. That is why the upcoming Platform Workers Proposal from Commissioner Schmit is so important. It can be a valuable tool to improve conditions for workers. In Portugal we have also taken steps to improve the rights of platform workers with our Agenda for Decent Work, where we assume there is a labour contract between the workers and the platforms when there are indications that there is a relationship between them.

“We need to keep platforms accountable as employers, they need to ensure transparency and guarantee collective rights for workers. Obligations such as social security contributions and responsibility for health and safety need to apply to platforms.”

As part of their meeting to coordinate ahead of the EPSCO Council next week, progressive ministers held an exchange on the Proposal with European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit.

The PES EPSCO also held an exchange on fair wages with MEP Agnes Jongerius, the European Parliament Rapporteur on the Adequate Minimum Wages Directive. Socialists and democrats are striving for fair and adequate minimum wages that protect all workers while strengthening collective bargaining and fully respecting national specificities and competences. Building on the Porto Social Summit in May, the Adequate Minimum Wages Directive put forward by Commissioner Schmit represents an important step to achieve this. Last week, the PES welcomed the vote in European Parliament to give the green light for negotiations on the directive.

Following the formation of the new Romanian government last week, the ministers welcomed Romanian Minister of Labour and Social Solidarity, Marius-Constantin Budai, to the meeting for the first time. 

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
  • Ville Kopra, State Secretary for Employment, Finland
  • Dr Rolf Schmachtenberg, State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, Germany
  • Taina Bofferding, Minister for Equality between Men and Women, Luxembourg
  • Carmelo Abela, Minister for Sustainable Development, Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto and Social Dialogue, Malta
  • Marius-Constantin Budai, Minister for Labour and Social Solidarity, Romania
  • Pedro Marques, Member of the European Parliament, Vice-president of the S&D Group in the EP, PES-S&D Coordinator on the implementation of the progressive Commission work programme
  • Agnes Jongerius, EMPL Coordinator, S&D Group in the European Parliament, Chair of PES Social Europe Network
  • Luca Visentini, General Secretary, ETUC
  • Esther Lynch, ETUC Deputy General Secretary, ETUC
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES