Today the European Parliament has approved the final agreement reached earlier with the member states on measures that will boost the rights for workers, including those with on-demand, voucher-based and platform jobs, restricting the use of zero-hour contracts. The new law will provide 200 million workers in Europe with more transparent and predictable working conditions. It will grant workers in non-standard forms of employment specific rights such as more predictable working hours, compensation for work cancelled at the last minute and the right to being paid for any training a worker might be required to do.
Socialists and Democrats welcome the increased protection for millions of European workers, in particular for the most vulnerable ones, working in non-standard forms of employment. However, we are much more ambitious and call for the for a Directive on Decent Working Conditions for all, that would totally ban the use of zero hours contracts in the EU.
Javi López, S&D MEP responsible for the transparent and predictable working conditions, stated:
"We S&Ds have fought tooth and nail for these new rules that will improve working conditions and set new rights for millions of workers across the EU, especially the ones on the most precarious short-term or on-demand contracts such as platform-workers at Uber and Deliveroo.
“From now on, member states will finally have to restrict the use of zero-hour contracts, where workers have no idea how many shifts they will have each week or how much they will earn. Workers on on-demand style contracts will have to be compensated whenever an employer cancels work at the last minute. Companies will be allowed to ask people to work within flexible jobs only within a predetermined set of hours and will have to give workers enough notice when giving them new shifts.
Furthermore, member states will also have to take action against abusive training practices - such as companies who force workers to pay for their own training."
Agnes Jongerius, MEP and S&D spokesperson on employment and social affairs, added:
“We cannot accept a European labour market which leaves millions with no security, no social rights, and no guaranteed income. People deserve certainty about their income and the hours they have to work. That is the basis to build up a living.
“In recent years, we’ve seen that work is becoming more flexible, and there are more and more flexible labour contracts. We must stop the kind of ‘flexibility’ that companies just use to cut their costs. Flexibility can only be beneficial if it happens on the terms of workers.
“The new law we have just voted is a step forward to curb the worst kind of abusive practices. Up to three million workers active in new forms of work, like workers on zero-hour contracts, will have more clarity. They will benefit from new rights leading to more predictable working conditions."