The European Council has reached an agreement for guidelines on the employment of meal couriers and similar jobs. The effort of the Belgian presidency has resulted in a compromise, leaving much room for member states’ individual judgement.
Insight into algorithms
As temporary president of the European Council, Belgium was tasked with a new attempt to improve the status of platform workers – Uber drivers, meal couriers and the like. An earlier attempt by Spain had failed, but a provisional agreement is now found, Belgian newspaper De Standaard reports. However, the European Parliament still has to agree with the proposal.
Following the compromise, member states will still be allowed to judge for themselves whether or not platform workers will have independent status, but trade unions or the workers themselves will be able to challenge their status more easily. There should also be more clarity and transparency about the algorithms platforms use to allocate work, among other things.
A Brussels-based court ruled late last year that Deliveroo couriers are indeed employees and not self-employed, as the company itself maintains. Previous similar verdicts have already caused the meal delivery company to leave Spain and the Netherlands. A new, European framework should provide more clarity and legal certainty.