On the 7th of February the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on the Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions.
The Commission’s proposal, issued in 2017, aimed to update the 1991 ‘Written Statement Directive’ and modernising European labour law by adjusting it to the new world of work, in the framework of the European Pillar of Social Rights. The two main objectives of the new directive are to extend and modernise obligations on informing workers about their working conditions and to create new minimum standards allowing more transparency and predictability for all workers.
The directive will extend rights to workers in non-standard forms of employment which are not full time and open-ended, from part-time work to on-demand work without guaranteed working hours. The directive will also lighten the administrative burden on employers by giving them the opportunity to provide requested information electronically. More in detail, the workers’ rights covered are the following ones:
- Predictable working hours and deadline for cancellation: workers under on-demand contracts or similar forms of employment should benefit from a minimum level of predictability on working hours and days of work. Workers should be able to refuse, with no consequences, an assignment outside predetermined hours and be compensated if the assignment was not cancelled in time.
- More than one job: the employer should not prohibit, hinder or penalise workers from taking jobs with other companies if this falls outside the work schedule established with that employer.
- Probationary periods: they should be no longer than six months or proportionate to the expected duration of the contract in the case of fixed-term employment. A renewed contract for the same function should not include a new probationary period.
- Mandatory training foreseen in European and national legislation should be provided free of charge by the employer and count as working time. When possible, such training should be completed within working hours.
According to European Commissioner Marianne Thyssen, up to three million workers active in new forms of work, like workers on zero-hour contracts and domestic workers, will be covered by the directive.
For more information, here a factsheet on the directive’s contents.