Online talent platforms: appropriate protection starts with recognition of diversity of platforms and correct classification at national level - World Employment Confederation bool(false)

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Online talent platforms: appropriate protection starts with recognition of diversity of platforms and correct classification at national level

In its response to the European Commission’s Social Partners Consultation on working conditions in platform work, the World Employment Confederation-Europe reiterates that the legal framework existing at EU level is sufficient to take advantage of the new technologies and ways to organise work while at the same time ensuring the protection of people working through platforms. Yet, correct application and enforcement needs to be stepped up. The World Employment Confederation-Europe does not intent to enter into formal negotiations with its sectoral social partner UNI-Europa on a legislative instrument on working conditions in platform work but will continue playing a key role in the policy debate at EU level.

Published on 16th April 2021

With the EU Social Partners Consultation on working conditions in platform work launched in February 2021, the European Commission aim to get the social partners’ views on the main challenges linked to working conditions in platform work, on the need for EU action and whether this should cover all people working in platform work and the rights and obligations that should be covered. The Commission also sought to know whether social partners would be willing to negotiated on working conditions in platform work.

“Online talent platforms can provide important opportunities of new solutions for companies and workers to offer services and organise work,” said Michael Freytag, World Employment Confederation-Europe’s Public Affairs Manager. “But it is important to ensure the appropriate protection of people working in platform work, taking account of their employment status.”

In its response to the consultation, the World Employment Confederation-Europe overall supports the identification of the policy issues and the potential areas of action. At the same time, some elements could have been reflected more appropriately, including the need to value the benefits of diverse forms of work and the need for level playing field amongst different service providers and between diverse forms of work.

The World Employment Confederation-Europe clearly sees the benefits for a continued dialogue, exchange and policy guidance at EU level on how to nourish the benefits of diverse forms of work, including working conditions in platform work, and to ensure a level-playing field for diverse forms of work. At the same time, given the diversity of online platform work, there cannot be a one-size-fits-all approach to regulation of platform work at EU level. Platform work as such is not a category of work, but rather a form of service delivery and an HR service provider, which can be based on and performed via all recognised types of contract or work relationships. The correct classification of labour suppliers at national level is key to ensure protection of people who work through platforms.

The World Employment Confederation-Europe considers that the existing regulatory framework should also be applied for online talent platforms, considering the fact that they can opt on a self-employment model or employ platform labour suppliers as workers in accordance with national law. For those online platforms that operate under and apply an employment relationship, there is already a comprehensive body of European and national law that is applicable.

The online platform economy touches on several aspects that are of key importance to the private employment services industry. At the same time, the scope and the diversity of platform work providers and their services goes beyond the mandate of the sectoral social dialogue on temporary agency work. The World Employment Confederation-Europe therefore does not intend to initiate a dialogue under Article 155 TFEU on the issues identified in the consultation.

The first stage consultation of EU social partners on working conditions in platform work will be followed by further policy debate at EU level, to which the World Employment Confederation-Europe will contribute. The private employment services industry is also providing a forum for regular dialogue and discussion on working conditions in platform work through events at both European and global level.

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