The European Commission wants to give gig workers the same protections as employees, including minimum wage where necessary, collective bargaining, paid leave and more.
The commission's proposal also outlines plans to increase transparency around how workers are managed through algorithms, including the ability for workers to push back on automated decisions. It would also require platforms to provide data about "their activities and the people who work through them" to national authorities.
Ride-hailing and delivery companies like Uber and and Bolt aren't thrilled with the proposal, but that's not surprising. Companies have long resisted employment rights for gig workers, saying it would risks jobs for delivery workers and drivers. In U.S. states like Massachusetts and California, the fight between gig workers and the companies they work for has been particularly contentious, with labor activists pushing for gig workers to be classified as employees. So far, the companies have largely won those fights.
There will surely be a heated debate over this new proposal, and however it ends it'll take a while to be implemented. The proposal will first be discussed by the European Parliament and Council, then if and when adopted, member states have two years to make the proposal into national law. If in fact the proposal is finalized and the new rules are implemented, it could have a ripple effect for the way gig workers are treated in other parts of the world.