Platform Workers - Move EU Considerations regarding rebuttable presumption of employment
Who we are
Move EU brings together the leading actors in the field of new mobility services. Speaking with one voice, our members aim to foster sustainable deployment of on-demand mobility and ride-hailing in the European Union. As information society services, Move EU members act as online intermediaries between Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) or on-demand taxi drivers and passengers, efficiently pairing supply and demand. In doing so, we provide revenue opportunities to hundreds of thousands of ride-hailing drivers in the European Union and provide access to modern and efficient mobility services to millions of European citizens.
In light of the ongoing work in the European Parliament and the European Commission’s Consultation of the social partners to improve the working conditions of people working through platforms, Move EU seeks to raise awareness of the implications that the rebuttable presumption of employment would have on their business, affecting the income opportunity of hundreds of thousands of drivers in the EU.
Flexibility is one of the top reasons why drivers choose to offer their services through Move EU members' platforms, as this allows individuals to choose when, where, if and for how long they wish to provide their service. In addition, most drivers offer their service on multiple platforms in parallel, enabling drivers to select the most attractive offers. At the same time, this enhances competition among the providers striving to offer the best conditions for the drivers.
A rebuttable presumption of an employment relationship would be detrimental as the majority of self-employed workers do not want to be employed and value the flexibility of their income opportunity. A universal presumption of employment with a reversal of the burden of proof is not a suitable approach for the sector, as the models and types of work differ significantly. For Move EU members, it would be impossible to challenge the employment status for each individual worker, as this creates enormous legal and financial uncertainty throughout the Member States. It will add confusion over the working status of hundreds of thousands of individuals who deliberately choose to work with the ride-hailing platforms because of the flexibility it entails, which will be a permanent threat to the development of ride-hailing platforms in Europe.
Ultimately, measures and policy options currently considered including the rebuttable presumption of an employment relationship and reversing the burden of proof would drastically change and threaten the operating model of ride-hailing platforms that could result in the loss of earning opportunities of thousands of drivers that do not seek to change their form of work. At the same time, the considerations would create very significant financial and legal risks for the platforms themselves, threatening the existence of such platforms. In addition, passengers would not be able to access efficient services anymore.
It is for this reason that Move EU members urge EU policymakers to move away from a one-size-fits-all approach for the platform sector, and encourage measures improving conditions of drivers in an upcoming EC platform work initiative while retaining the flexibility that is a key part of platforms’ value proposition. Legal clarity and certainty will unlock the sector and ensure harmonised opportunities for rider and passenger.