Portugal appears poised to become the latest frontier of workers’ rights in the European temporary jobs economy.
Lawmakers are moving forward with rules that require delivery companies and food delivery companies like Uber and Glovo to grant employment rights to certain drivers and couriers.
If passed, Portugal would take a page from the books of Spain and the United Kingdom. Earlier this year, Spain passed a law turning several contractors into UK employees, meanwhile, a High Court ruling against Uber forced the company to reclassify its drivers as “employees” with benefits. UK rules only apply to Uber.
Reuters reports: The government passed the Portuguese law on temporary employment in the economy last week and is awaiting an announcement by Parliament.
Labor, Solidarity and Social Security Minister Ana Mendes Godinho said the law would provide more security for workers.
The rules also require companies that provide these services to share information with authorities about how they use their algorithms to manage employees and jobs. Using algorithms and artificial intelligence in the gig economy, companies have caught the attention of many regulators in Europe, concerned about how unfair or discriminatory the technology is.
While Portugal is the last country to introduce national legislation on the placement of workers in the temporary labor economy, it is also on the table at the EU level. Earlier in 2021, the European Commission launched an advisory report on the legal status and working conditions of temporary agency workers.
Meanwhile, the courts continued to assess workers’ conditions. A Dutch court recently convicted Uber in a case involving its drivers. The court ruled in favor of the union that up to 4,000 drivers in the country should be considered employees.
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