EC Addresses The Issue Of Collective Bargaining For The Self-Employed

The European Commission is launching a process to ensure that the EU competition rules do not stand in the way of collective bargaining for those who need it. The initiative seeks to ensure that working conditions can be improved through collective agreements not only for employees, but also for those self-employed who need protection.

Stakeholders from the public and private sector, including competition authorities and government bodies, academia, as well as legal and economic practitioners trade unions and employers organisations are invited to participate to the on-going public consultation on the Digital Services Act Package (section V of the consultation, on “Self-employed individuals and platforms”). The replies will feed into the on-going reflections for this initiative. In parallel to the on-going public consultation, the Commission is also engaging closely with social partners – trade unions and employers organisations.

Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said: “The Commission has committed to improving the working conditions of platform workers during this mandate. So today we are launching a process to ensure that those who need to can participate in collective bargaining without the fear of breaking EU competition rules. As already stressed on previous occasions the competition rules are not there to stop workers forming a union but in today’s labour market the concept “worker” and “self-employed” have become blurred. As a result, many individuals have no other choice than to accept a contract as self-employed. We therefore need to provide clarity to those who need to negotiate collectively in order to improve their working conditions.”

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