The objective of the EU's suggested regulations is to accurately identify platform workers' job status to safeguard their employment rights.

FREMONT, CA: European Works Councils represent employees on a global scale. Management informs and consults employees through these organisations before making any key decisions that might have an impact on employment or working conditions at the EU level. To guarantee robust social security, the EU has implemented a set of labour regulations which serves as one of the pillars of European social policy.

Working conditions

• Working hours - EU labour law sets individual rights for all employees, including a 48-hour maximum workweek, paid yearly leave for at least four weeks, rest periods, and rules on night work, shift work, and work routines.

• Protection for new forms of employment - Digitalisation, the creation of new technologies, an increase in freedom, and job dispersion has increased the number of temporary jobs and unconventional occupations. By restraining the length of the probation period to six months maximum, initiating mandatory free training and banning contracts neglecting workers, the EU enhances the rights of the most vulnerable workers on unusual contracts.

• Teleworking- While telework has improved efficiency and flexibility for businesses and employees, it has also blurred the line between work and personal life. The EU-wide regulation allows workers to disengage from work without repercussions during non-working hours. This mandate was demanded by Parliament to guarantee that the prolonged use of digital tools does not impair their rights. MEPs require minimal requirements for remote jobs as well.

• Minimum wages

The first EU law establishing acceptable minimum salaries was approved by MEPs in the last annual period. Salaries are compared to national baskets of goods and services or too widely accepted reference values like 60 per cent of the gross median salary or 50 per cent of the gross average wage. The regulations also seek to uphold employees' rights and encourage collective bargaining.

Workers’ Health and Safety

To assist and supplement the efforts of member states, the EU establishes laws in the area of health and safety at work. By enacting EU directives into national legislation, EU nations are permitted to establish stricter requirements.

The European Framework Directive on Safety and Health at Work specifies the responsibilities of employers and workers and applies to almost all spheres of public and private activity. Some regulations are particular to exposure to harmful chemicals, categories of employees like young people and expectant mothers, certain jobs like the physical handling of cargo, and locations like fishing vessels.

The chance of having health issues has grown with an ageing workforce. A report outlining actions to make it easier for people to return to work after taking a prolonged absence from work and to better integrate those with disabilities or chronic illnesses into the workforce was endorsed by MEPs before. Presently as mental health issues in the EU increased, the European Parliament urged EU institutions and member states to acknowledge the increasing prevalence of work-related mental health issues and identify solutions to help prevent mental illnesses.

Work-life balance and gender equality

The European Parliament has always placed a high priority on work-life balance and gender equality.  MEPs established a series of new regulations to permit parents and employees to care for relatives with serious medical problems. This aids in developing a better work-life balance to give more equitable possibilities for men and women and to encourage the greater distribution of caring obligations.

The directive establishes a minimum of 10 days of paternity leave, a minimum of four months of parental leave per parent (two of which are not transferable), a minimum of five days of caregivers' leave annually, as well as more flexible working conditions. Under the Pregnant Workers Directive, maternity leave must last a minimum of 14 weeks, with two weeks of leave required before or after delivery.

In addition, the parliament has asked for EU regulations to address mobbing and sexual harassment as well as greater steps to address the female wage gap and pension gap. Companies will be required to publish pay information under new regulations that Parliament and the Council approved in December 2022. This should make it simpler for employees to compare wages and reveal gender pay discrepancies.

Workers’ mobility within the EU

It is possible for people to relocate to another EU country to study, work, or settle while also receiving social and health benefits that are guaranteed to them by EU social security regulations governing the coordination of social security systems among member states. The EU is now reviewing its laws regarding benefits including unemployment, family, maternity, and paternity leave.

MEPs approved proposals to establish the European Labour Authority in 2019 to work with member states and the European Commission on labour mobility and social security system coordination. Specifically assigned duties can be performed by workers temporarily transferred to another EU nation. To uphold the idea of equal pay for equal work done in the same location, EU regulations governing worker posting were updated.

A law to update the European Jobs Network (Eures) with an EU-wide database of job searchers and openings was adopted by Parliament to combat unemployment and better match supply and demand in the labour market throughout Europe.

Social Dialogue

European social and employment policy is shaped by the social partners, which include trade unions and employers' organisations, through discussions, comments, and social dialogue. They are also able to negotiate framework agreements on particular issues.

The EU has developed a comprehensive framework for the rights of employees to be informed and consulted to promote worker participation in decision-making within their organization. According to EU regulations, businesses are required to engage in negotiations with labour representatives in the case of mass layoffs.