The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Carmelo Abela appeals for legislation across EU member states to ensure fair working conditions

Friday, 4 December 2020, 11:07 Last update: about 3 months ago

In an informal videoconference of the European Ministers of Employment and Social Policy, hosted by the German Presidency, Minister Carmelo Abela showed Malta's concerns in relation to ensuring fair working conditions and social protection in the platform economy, whilst appealing for a human-centred work in such a new work era.

He noted how the world and the European Union are going through new economic revolutions, one of them being the platform economy, a type of economy which sees companies worldwide being based on the creation of digital communities and marketplaces, allowing different groups to interact and transact online.

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He said that the EU can assist by utilising a horizontal approach by reconciling various legal regiments and policies in different areas in different countries, such as in areas related to competition, labour, taxation and digitisation. "In this way, any new national and EU legislation would ensure a fair labour market and a level playing field. This will help the policy maker to have a better understanding of this new evolving economy and to come up with a balanced legislation."  On this note, he appealed to the European Union to provide research and tools to assist member states in data collection and analysis and encourage the sharing of best practices amongst member states.

He remarked how Malta believes that all the stakeholders should agree on the applicable definitions used in this type of economy.

Minister Abela said that there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution. As he remarked; "Malta believes that another area of action would be to strengthen working conditions and protections for the self-employed, so no worker gets stuck in ambiguity, and are instead given equal rights and protections irrelevant of their employment classification."

He concluded by reiterating that it is evident that more attention is required for online platform work at both national and EU level, "hence the Maltese government firmly believes that pro-active action within the platform economy is needed in the responsiveness of legislation to the rapid digital and labour market changes. Such action will ensure timely and effective action within the platform economy."

 


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