European Parliament backs key progressive policies in final plenary week

16/04/2019

Workers in precarious employment

A green light for the European Labour Authority and new protections for workers are a welcome step for a more social Europe, but our work is not done the Party of European Socialists (PES) said today.

MEPs backed the measures - which will tackle exploitation and boost rights for workers, particularly those on precarious contracts – in Strasbourg during the final plenary week before May’s European elections.

The votes are a major success for S&D MEPs, who have campaigned hard throughout the mandate to strengthen protections for Europe’s 200 million workers. Both are important milestones for the implementation of the European Pillar of social Rights, and for the PES Social Action Plan.

The vote is a positive step, but progressives are calling for a more ambitious approach and a Directive for Decent Working Conditions for all, which would totally ban the use of zero hours contracts in the EU.

President of the PES, Sergei Stanishev said:

“Once again progressives are standing up for millions of workers across Europe, particularly those in a vulnerable situation. The new European Labour Authority will be a powerful tool to prevent exploitation, ensuring everyone’s employment rights are upheld. And I am pleased Parliament backed a new law on transparent and predictable working conditions. This will boost rights for workers in non-standard forms of employment, but the law falls short of the total ban on zero hours contracts we advocate for. A strong progressive group in the next European parliament will fight to end zero hours contracts and offer more protections to workers.”

The measures backed by the European Parliament will positively effect some 200 million workers in Europe. The European Labour Authority will start work in 2019 and reach full operational capacity by 2024.