Gig economy workers including Uber drivers and Deliveroo couriers will be given new employment rights across the European Union, after lawmakers approved the new rules.
EU member states will have three years to implement the new rules which include putting in place minimum rights for freelancer workers, such as more regular working hours and compensation for cancelled work.
Gig economy workers have previously been treated as independent contractors instead of employees in some countries and so have not been granted the same employment rights.
As part of the new ruling, which was approved by the European Parliament on Tuesday, those working within the so called "gig economy" will now have to be told about their pay on their first day, and will also be able to work for other companies and refuse assignments outside of normal working hours.
The new rules is thought to be applied to around three million individuals, who the European Parliament said are amongst some of “the most vulnerable employees."
The UK will only be obliged to implement the law if it is still a member state of the EU three years after the new regulation enters into force.
But similar rules are already planned for the UK, following a review into modern workplace practices by Matthew Taylor, a former advisor to Tony Blair.
The EU law will require employers to inform all workers about "essential aspects" of their employment on their first day, including:
- Description of their duties
- Starting date and pay information
- Indication of what a standard working day is, or reference hours
- Right to compensation for late cancelling of work
- Only one probationary period, lasting a maximum of six months
-Allow employees to have other jobs, banning "exclusivity clauses"
The new rules should apply to all those who work at least three hours a week, averaged over four weeks - at least three million people, though it is a growing category of workers.
The rules will also apply to trainees and apprentices in similar circumstances.
Spanish MEP Enrique Calvet Chambon, from the ALDE liberal group that has pushed through the new rules, said: “From now on no employer will be able to abuse the flexibility in the labour market.
“All workers who have been in limbo will now be granted minimum rights thanks to this directive.”
Those laws, which were announced late last year and were described as the biggest package of workplace reforms for more than 20 years, saw the maximum fine for employers mistreating their workers quadrupled, to £20,000. The rules will come into force in April 2020.
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