BEERG: Crisis Pushes European Trade Union Advisors to Call for New “Definition of Worker”

April 17, 2020

EU trade union advocates are seeking to place gig workers “under the same protective scope for the purposes of labour and social-security law and, of course, the various income-replacement measures explored in the context of the COVID-19 crisis.”

The "COVID-19 crisis makes clear a new concept of 'worker is overdue,'" argue leading academic and legal advisors to European trade unions.  They are calling for a new legislative definition of “worker” that encompasses “not only traditional employees but also all those self-employed who do not comprise ‘undertakings’ (they do not employ staff and do not reply on substantial amount of assets to perform what is clearly personal work).” 

So you’re saying there’s a chance:  Potential new legislation on the “gig economy” was already on the agenda for the European Commission before COVID-19.  The issues that have arisen about protecting the incomes of such workers during the pandemic will, more than likely, push such legislation further up the agenda.

Meanwhile, the HR Policy Association held a region-by-region analysis webinar this week featuring several of our global partners, including BEERG, the Latin America Employee Relations Group, and HR Policy India.  Experts discussed the various regional challenges employers are facing amid the crisis, from policy responses to economic issues.  If you would like to learn more about these topics, please contact HR Policy Global Affairs Director Alan Wild at

Read the full BEERG Global Labor Newsletter