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Portugal’s gig economy workers become employees

Lisbon, October 22nd (Reuters) – Portugal has taken a step closer to commissioning digital platforms like Uber and Glovo to hire some of their drivers as employees with formal contracts and fringe benefits, making it the newest European nation to be in the gig economy Attack takes.

The bill, which was passed by the government late Thursday but has yet to receive the final stamp of  -proval from parliament, aims to give thousands of drivers employment rights as employees rather than freelancers.

It will likely be  -proved as the socialist government has the support of other left parties. If the green light is given, it will be another victory for unions around the world fighting for better wages and benefits for workers in the gig economy.

The UK Supreme Court ruled that Uber drivers were entitled to workers’ rights in February, and a few months later, Spain gave grocery suppliers three months to hire their couriers as employees.

Portugal’s Labor Minister Ana Mendes Godinho said the bill assumes that an employee of the operator of the digital platform is an employee with a formal contract if there is evidence of relationships between the platform, the employee providing the service and the customers.

“The fight against precarious employment is one of our top priorities,” Godinho said at a press conference.

She said that digital platforms will also “have an obligation to transparently inform working conditions, workers and their representatives about the criteria of the algorithms and artificial intelligence mechanisms used”.

Under pressure to find an EU-wide solution, the European Commission launched a public consultation earlier this year to determine the legal employment status of couriers and improve their working conditions. Continue reading

The gig economy grew during the COVID-19 pandemic, when people around the world needed goods and groceries to go home and millions of new unemployed people were dying to work.

However, many employees of digital platforms say that they are exploited by companies that pay low wages, encourage long working hours and at the same time offer little social and health protection.

Reporting by Sergio Goncalves and Catarina Demony; Ad -tation by David Evans

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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