Government must not delay transposition of EU Directive on Platform Work

12 March 2024
  • Gross exploitation and the deprivation of basic working conditions are at stake

Labour spokesperson on workers’ rights Marie Sherlock has welcomed the approval of the new EU Directive on Platform Work.

Senator Sherlock said:

“I’m relieved to see that the Government has changed its stance over the past number of weeks from opposition to support for the Directive.

“There is no time to delay to transpose this Directive and make it the law in Ireland.

“The livelihoods of many precarious and vulnerable workers are at stake here. Any delay in protecting these workers from the gross exploitation that many transport delivery workers suffer would be heartless.

“This Directive offers new protections to bogusly self-employed workers and, crucially, the Directive breaks new grounds in setting out the regulation of algorithmic management in the workplace.

“There is a wider issue here about the elimination of bogus self employment which we know exists across many sectors;  food, tourism, IT, media and culture, transport and logistics and finance and law.

“For many years Labour Party has campaigned to introduce an automatic presumption to employment to protect workers. In 2021, we published our bill to provide for the automatic presumption of employee status for all workers until proven otherwise and to regulate the use of algorithmic management tools in the workplace which so badly skew the balance of power between worker and platform/ employer.

“This Directive is a really positive advance in the fight against bogus self employment in that it now places the onus on employers to classify correctly and the burden to prove otherwise falls on the employers in court of law.

“While we would like to an automatic presumption for every single worker from day one of employment with regard to the tax and social insurance that they pay, this Directive sets out that each member state must ensure a presumption of employment status when the employment relationship is being tested before the courts.

“Any delay by this Government in enacting this Directive would be unforgivable.

“Last October the Supreme Court issued a landmark judgement that ruled that Domino’s driver were misclassified. Unfortunately the Government has sat on its hands on this issue since then. The Government now has case law here and an EU Directive approved – it must act urgently.”

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