Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion

News 20/12/2017

Commission proposes to improve transparency and predictability of working conditions

As part of the follow-up to the European Pillar of Social Rights, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a new Directive for more transparent and predictable working conditions across the EU.

The Commission's proposal complements and modernises existing obligations to inform each worker of his or her working conditions. In addition, the proposal creates new minimum standards to ensure that all workers, including those on atypical contracts, benefit from more predictability and clarity as regards their working conditions.

Marianne Thyssen, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, added: "With today's proposal we are taking action to improve transparency and predictability of working conditions. The world of work is changing fast with a growing number of non-standard jobs and contracts. This means that more and more people are at risk of not being covered by basic rights anymore, starting from the right to know the terms under which they work. Increased transparency and predictability will benefit to both workers and businesses."

The Commission estimates that 2 to 3 million additional workers on atypical contracts will be covered and protected by the proposal compared to existing legislation. At the same time, the proposal also puts measures in place to avoid administrative burden on employers, for instance by giving them the possibility to provide the requested information electronically.

More concretely, the Commission aims to reduce the risk of insufficient protection of workers by:

  • Aligning the notion of worker to the case-law of the European Court of Justice. Under current rules, the definitions may vary and certain categories of workers end up being excluded.
  • Bringing within the scope of the Directive forms of employment that are now often excluded. This includes domestic workers, marginal part-time workers or workers on very short contracts, and extending it to new forms of employment, such as on-demand workers, voucher-based workers and platform workers.
  • Ensuring that workers are provided with an updated and extended information package directly at the start of employment from day one, instead of two months following the starting date as is currently the case.
  • Creating new minimum rights, such as the right to greater predictability of work for those working mostly with a variable schedule, the possibility to request transition to a more stable form of employment and receive a reply in writing, or the right to mandatory training without deduction from salary.
  • Reinforcing the means of enforcement and redress as a last resort to resolve possible disagreements, should dialogue not suffice.

The proposed Directive would need to adopted by the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union, and be implemented by the Member States, either through legislation or by social partners' collective agreements.

This initiative is one of the Commission's actions to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights, which was proclaimed at the Social Summit for Fair Jobs and Growth in Gothenburg in November 2017.

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