BEERG: New EU Commission, Familiar Employment Agenda

September 13, 2019

As a new term begins for the executive branch of the European Union, our allies in the EU take a look at the labor and employment issues that will most likely be in play during their tenure.

“The outgoing Commission certainly did not leave a supercharged agenda for the incoming Commission to pick up,” BEERG relates in its Global Labor Newsletter.

However, there are several areas that merit close attention:

  • Working time:  In a recent ruling, the Court of Justice of the European Union held that EU member states should ensure that legislation on working time provides for the recording of all time worked by all employees—irrespective of the category of employee—to make certain that the requirements of the Working Time Directive are being complied with.  How this is to be done is for each member state to decide.  The question remains: what, exactly, counts as working time?

  • The gig economy:  Issues around the employment status of gig economy workers has moved rapidly up the agenda in the past few years.  As is currently being debated in the U.S., are such workers independent contractors, or should they be regarded as employees, entitled to the full panoply of employment rights?  Courts in different EU member states are returning different answers to the question.  The recently adopted Directive on transparent and predictable working conditions is a first step towards an EU-wide legislative framework regulating employment conditions in the gig economy.  It seems only a matter of time before further legislation is proposed.

  • European Works Councils:  As of today, it seems unlikely that there will be any new EWC legislation forthcoming in the near future.  We are more likely to see further interpretations of the existing legislation through the courts.

Read the full BEERG Global Newsletter.