Find out how new EU rules will improve the rights of the most vulnerable workers and ensure better working conditions.
MEPs are set to vote on a provisional agreement reached with EU ministers on new minimum rights for all employees. This legislation grants new rights for the most vulnerable employees on atypical contracts and in non-standard jobs, such as gig economy workers.
The new rules include measures to protect workers by ensuring more transparent and predictable working conditions, such as free mandatory training and limits on working hours and the length of the probationary period.
The rules would also prevent employers from stopping a worker from taking up another job outside of working hours and require that all new employees get key information on their responsibilities and working conditions within a week. It is an important step in the EU’s social policy.
Protection for workers on flexible contracts
Non-standards jobs have become more prevalent due to changes in the world of work, such as increasing digitalisation and the creation of new business models. In the so-called gig economy temporary positions and short-term contracts with independent workers are common.
In 2016, one out of four employment contracts was for atypical forms of work. The labour market requires flexible work contracts, but flexibility must be combined with minimum protection.
The new rules would apply to anyone being paid to work at least 12 hours per four weeks on average, including domestic , on-demand,, intermittent, voucher based- and, platform workers as well as trainees and apprentices.
However, genuinely self-employed workers would not be covered by the legislation.
Once adopted by the European Parliament, the final rules would still have to be approved by EU ministers before they can enter into force.
More on what the EU does for workers’ rights
The EU is working steadily on improving working conditions. Recently, MEPs backed new rules to help working parents and carers better reconcile career and family life. They also adopted a reform of rules regarding posted workers in order to better protect them.