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Find out how new EU rules will improve the rights of the most vulnerable workers and ensure better working conditions.

On 16 April MEPs adopted new rules introducing minimum rights for all employees. This legislation grants new rights for the most vulnerable employees on atypical contracts and in non-standard jobs, such as gig economy workers.


The new rules include measures to protect workers by ensuring more transparent and predictable working conditions, such as free mandatory training and limits on working hours and the length of the probationary period.


The rules would also prevent employers from stopping a worker from taking up another job outside of working hours and require that all new employees get key information on their responsibilities and working conditions within a week. It is an important step in the EU's social policy.


Find out more about the new rules in our infographic.

Infographic: explanation of new EU rights for atypical jobs and gig economy workers  

Protection for workers on flexible contracts

 

Non-standards jobs have become more prevalent due to changes in the world of work, such as increasing digitalisation and the creation of new business models. In the so-called gig economy  temporary positions and short-term contracts with independent workers are common.

 

In 2016, one out of four employment contracts was for atypical forms of work. The labour market requires flexible work contracts, but flexibility must be combined with minimum protection.

The new rules would apply to anyone being paid to work at least 12 hours per four weeks on average, including domestic , on-demand,, intermittent, voucher based- and, platform workers as well as trainees and apprentices.


However, genuinely self-employed workers would not be covered by the legislation.

Next steps


EU ministers will still have to approve the rules before they can enter into force. After that EU countries will have three years to bring their national legislation in line with the directive.


More on what the EU does for workers’ rights


The EU is working steadily on improving working conditions. In 2019, MEPs backed new rules to help working parents and carers better reconcile career and family life. They also adopted a reform of rules regarding posted workers in order to better protect them.


The EU has also set rules regarding working time, health and safety at work and social security when working in another EU country.