PES ministers back stronger rights for platform workers



PES EPSCO meeting by videoconference

Technological progress and digitisation must no longer benefit big business alone – workers in the platform economy deserve better working conditions and stronger social protection. Progressives will support EU efforts to achieve this, a meeting of PES Ministers for Employment and Social Affairs agreed today.

PES EPSCO Chair and Portuguese Minister for Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Ana Mendes Godinho, said:

“At a time when delivery apps and other online platforms are doing record business, it is right that we reassess conditions for the workers which make those sales possible.

“Our political family has always stood for fair working conditions and social protections for workers. This goes for everyone, and especially those who are struggling with low wages and poor conditions in the digital economy.

“In recent years, we have seen how many vulnerable workers in atypical forms of employment are not adequately covered by social protections. Many struggle to earn decent wages, working long hours. And COVID-19 has only made it worse. Platform workers deserve more, and we support the efforts of Commissioner Schmit to make that a reality.”

The PES ministers met by videoconference to exchange ahead of the EPSCO Council today, discussing platform workers, the Directive on adequate minimum wages in the EU, the Social Action Plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, and the European Child Guarantee. European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights Nicolas Schmit attended to brief the meeting on actions the Commission is undertaking to make progress in these areas.

The meeting once again reaffirmed the progressive goal that every worker in the EU - women and men – enjoys a decent wage and standard of living. Commissioner Schmit has put a strong proposal for a Directive on adequate minimum wages on the table, which is balanced and takes into account different national systems and competences. The meeting welcomed the continued discussions around fair pay in the EU.

PES ministers also exchanged on the Social Action Plan for the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights, which will soon be presented by the European Commission. The Pillar was a progressive initiative which is now being brought to life by a progressive Commissioner: Nicolas Schmit. The devastating consequences of the pandemic have demonstrated the need to ensure that Europe’s recovery is truly social, working for every citizen and leaving nobody behind. By bringing the Pillar’s principles to life, we can show citizens they can count on the EU.

The meeting welcomed progress on the European Child Guarantee as a new tool to fight poverty, and particularly child poverty, in Europe. The PES EPSCO looks forward to the publication of the first proposals in early 2021. 

The meeting was attended by:

  • Ana Mendes Godinho, Chair, Minister of Labour, Solidarity and Social Security, Portugal
  • Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, European Commission
  • Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, European Commission
  • Pierre Yves Dermagne, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Economy and Employment, Belgium
  • Tomas Novotny, Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Czech Republic
  • Tuula Haatainen, Minister of Employment, Finland
  • Hubertus Heil, Federal Minister of Labour, Germany
  • Franziska Giffey, Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, Germany
  • Francesca Puglisi, Deputy Minister of Labour, Italy
  • Dan Kersch, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, Luxembourg
  • Romain Schneider, Minister of Social Security, Luxembourg
  • Carmelo Abela, Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister (Sustainable Development, Implementation of the Electoral Manifesto and Social Dialogue), Malta
  • Eva Nordmark, Minister for Employment, Sweden
  • Agnes Jongerius, EMPL Coordinator, S&D Group in the European Parliament, Chair of PES Social Europe Network
  • Heléne Fritzon, EMPL Coordinator, S&D Vice President, S&D Group in the European Parliament
  • Luca Visentini, General Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
  • Liina Carr, Confederal Secretary, European Trade Union Confederation
  • Yonnec Polet, Deputy Secretary General, PES