Gig Economy Project: James Farrar, Sergi Cutillas – Workers’ Recommendations on the Draft EU Platform Work Directive

Report calls on MEPs to fast-track approval of the proposed EU Platform Work Directive in upcoming vote and for additional curbs on algorithmic abuses in the gig economy

James Farrar is founder and director of Worker Info Exchange and General Secretary of The App Drivers and Couriers Union (ADCU). Together with Yaseen Aslam, he was the lead claimant in the landmark worker rights case against Uber decided in favour of workers by the UK Supreme Court.

Sergi Cutillas co-founder and researcher at Observatorio TAS (Work, Algorithms and Society). An economist specialised in competition policy and digitisation, Sergi is also a member of theTaxi Project 2.0 defending worker rights in the ride-hailing sector in Barcelona.

The proposed EU Platform Work Directive is a unique opportunity to combat workers’ misclassification in the platform economy and protect the rights of about 28 million people working through digital labour platforms in Europe.
As the European Parliament and Council endure massive lobbying pressure from the ride-hailing and delivery industry, workers in the platform economy struggle to be heard by policymakers.
This policy brief includes specific recommendations on how the co-legislators can provide workers with the correct employment classification based on their actual working conditions; ensure the autonomy, freedom and flexibility of the self-employed; protect workers by ensuring access to social and labour rights; support good employers, making sure that there is no unfair competition from non-compliant platforms that abuse bogus self-employment; prevent platforms from concealing management control through algorithms; and ultimately uphold a European Social Model where economic advancement, innovation, productivity, decent employment and social protection take equal priority.
The document includes detailed explanations of workers’ demands and a table of recommended amendments to the text of the proposed directive (p. 15).


1. The burden of proof against presumption of employment must lie with the platforms, as workers remain at riskof misclassification
2. Platform workers’ waiting time is working time
3. Algorithmic management of workers should be just and transparent:
      3.1 Disclosure of information on automated decision-making should always contain an                   explanation of the impact of these systems on workers
      3.2 The use of biometric data to authenticate the identityof platform workers should be prohibited
      3.3 Robo-firing of workers should be prohibited and performance factors should be disclosed
      3.4 Predictive behavioural profiling technologies that affectworking conditions should be prohibited
      3.5 Dynamic pay should be prohibited, but surge pay multiples of transparent pay rates should          continue to be allowed at times of high demand
      3.6 Automated systems for security and fraud protection should not be used to misclassify workers, conceal performance management or terminate work contracts without transparency and due process
      3.7 The impact of automated decision-making systems, including for risk and safety management, should be transparently communicated to workers and subject to social dialogue
4. Platform workers should have the right to access and port all their personal data and to receive a full explanation of how platforms have processed their data at work

To read the full report, please go HERE

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