Commission proposal for a Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions – BusinessEurope’s views
- It is in the interest of companies and employees to provide clarity on the employment relationship. Policy makers should support this by modernising the written statement directive. The proposal should also encourage a dialogue between Member States and national social partners on the implementation and coverage of the directive.
- Unfortunately, the Commission’s proposal disrespects the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality:
- It introduces a number of bureaucratic elements that will create unnecessary costs and fundamental legal uncertainty for companies and employees, as well as undermine national legal structures.
- The EU should not interfere with Member States’ definitions of the term “worker/employee”. The proposed definition of a ‘worker’ would cover people that are self-employed such as consultants or freelancers. National definitions have been adapted over the years in law, collective agreements and jurisprudence, to take into account new forms of work and changes in national labour law and social security. An EU definition would not be able to capture different situations and would be much more difficult to adapt to future developments. It would lead to more rigidity.
- Minimum rights proposed by the Commission concern issues that are best dealt with at national, sectoral or company levels, including in collective agreements. Details of work organisation such as probation periods, working time schedules or parallel employment should not be regulated at the EU level. The proposal also fails to take into consideration the specific nature of certain sectors, such as mobile work or the road transport industry.
What does BusinessEurope aim for?
- A targeted revision of the written statement directive, focused on modernisation and adapting the information framework in line with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.
- Ensure that the directive continues to apply to employees only and is not broadened to include self-employed people.
- Ensure that the sanctions are proportionate to the damage suffered by the employee and that national rules on dismissals are not undermined.