Senator Gavan raised the issue with the EU Commissioner Nicholas Schmitt at a recent meeting of the Committee on Trade and Enterprise, and stated:
“I don’t want my son or daughter to have a future whereby they wake up in the morning and look at an app to tell them if they have work that day and what kind of work that might be.”
Sinn Féin spokesperson in the Seanad for Workers’ Rights said:
“The concern is that big companies in IT, construction, food delivery, and many more sectors, are exploiting workers. So long as there is a lack of regulation, the platform economy will thrive, workers will continue to be exploited and more industries will find a way to profit from this “Gig Economy”.
“In most situations, platform workers are wrongly classified as self-employed which allows employers to circumvent, what should be, their obligations to employees under employment law. Workers have less entitlements to social welfare supports if and when they need them. It also means no access to an occupational pension, no paid sick, paternity or maternity leave, no redundancy pay, no fixed breaks or rest periods, no paid annual leave or pubic holidays.
“On Thursday, I raised the issue with the EU Commissioner, and while he agreed on the principle of protecting the rights of those workers, as ever, this state and the EU, is playing catch up in relation to workers’ rights.
“Sinn Féin have introduced a Bill to out-law bogus self-employment which seeks to stand up for workers and put an end to this precarious type of arrangement. We must ensure real jobs are created with better protections for the workers in those sectors.”