Council of the EU confirms agreement on new platform worker rules

March 13, 2024

The Council of the EU has confirmed the Platform Work Directive. The Directive aims to improve working conditions and regulate the use of algorithms by digital labour platforms.

The Directive aims to make the use of algorithms in human resources management more transparent, ensuring that automated systems are monitored by qualified staff and that workers have the right to contest automated decisions. Another aim is to help correctly determine the employment status of people working for platforms, enabling them to benefit from any employment law rights to which they are entitled.

Addressing false self-employment in platform work

The Directive sets minimum standards of protection for people working in digital labour platforms across the EU. A legal presumption will help determine the correct employment status of people working in digital platforms:

  • member states will establish a legal presumption of employment in their legal systems, to be triggered when facts indicating control and direction are found;
  • those facts will be determined according to national law and collective agreements, while taking into account EU case-law;
  • persons working in digital platforms, their representatives or national authorities may invoke this legal presumption and claim they are misclassified; and
  • it is up to the digital platform to prove that there is no employment relationship.

In addition, member states will provide guidance to digital platforms and national authorities when the new measures are being put in place.

Regulating algorithmic management

The Directive requires that workers are duly informed about the use of automated monitoring and decision-making systems regarding their recruitment, their working conditions and their earnings, among other things.

It also bans the use of automated monitoring or decision-making systems for processing certain types of personal data of people performing platform work, such as biometric data or their emotional or psychological state.

Human oversight and evaluation are also required for automated decisions, including the right to have those decisions explained and reviewed.

Next steps

The text of the agreement will now be finalised in all the official languages and formally adopted by both institutions. Once this has been completed, member states will have two years to incorporate the provisions of the Directive into their national legislation.