February 26, 2024
Government must do more to protect delivery workers – Senator Paul Gavan

Sinn Féin Senator and European Candidate for Ireland South, Paul Gavan, has called on the government to act urgently to protect digital platform workers following the ‘no deal’ on EU Directive.

Senator Gavan said;

“Following the news that no deal was reached on the EU deal on platform work directive last week (16th February), it is now imperative that the government look to strengthening employment rights for those working under bogus self-employment contracts.

“To date, the Irish government has thrown its weight behind a watered-down position on the EU Platform Workers Directive.

“The original directive was intended to ensure that delivery riders/drivers and similar types of platform workers would be recognised as employees under national employee laws, rather than being classed as self-employed.

“However, the EU couldn’t even agree on the much less ambitious text put before them last week.

“The chances of a directive being passed before the European elections in June looks unlikely so the government must now look at how national laws can be improved.

“There are over 3,000 workers in Ireland operating for digital platform companies such as Deliveroo, FreeNow and Just Eat, that are simply labelled ‘self-employed’ who have no minimum wage or entitlements under PRSI contributions such as sick pay, maternity leave, or pension contributions.

“Multi-national companies who provide online platforms for delivery and taxi services can use these bogus self-employment contracts to hire workers whilst avoiding paying employer’s PRSI on thousands of workers.

“The lack of regulation has resulted in a toxic sector of the economy with exploitation, dangerous working conditions, and exceptionally low pay.

“The government must act urgently to protect these workers.”

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