This Discussion Paper analyses the potential impact of the proposal for a Directive on the working conditions and rights of platform migrant workers. The Platform Directive presents a much-anticipated opportunity to guarantee that workers in the platform economy have proper access to labour rights and social benefits. However, having a more stringent regulatory framework does not necessarily translate into stronger and greater social protection for the most vulnerable individuals.
Migrant platform workers are vulnerable to double exploitation.
First, as platform workers, they cannot enjoy the protections that employment law provides.
Second, they can be subject to exploitation due to their migration and residence status, especially those who are undocumented. In this context, the positive impact of the proposed Directive will likely be limited by differences in bargaining power between migrant workers and platforms and by the well-founded fears of retaliation that some non-EU platform workers might face.
Therefore, strengthening protections will require targeted improvements to the proposed framework and further actions to remove structural barriers faced by migrant workers when accessing the labour market.
To further improve the EU’s actions in this area, the attention of policy makers should focus on three objectives: preserving or enhancing the positive elements in the original Commission’s proposal, ensuring that some of the key amendments put forward by the EP are given full effect in the future, and closing down other gaps in the broader EU policy framework.
This Paper offers six recommendations on how to move forward: