What was the problem?
Many employees across Europe do not receive full and timely information about key employment conditions. This means they are in a weaker position when it comes to negotiating their working conditions. Often, this has spillovers into their private lives and their wellbeing in general. Workers in new and atypical forms of employment are particularly vulnerable and tend not to receive key information at all. Such workers are found in crowd/platform employment, casual work, including zero-hours contracts, domestic work, to name a few. The European directive that obliges employers to provide employees with a written statement specifying key conditions of an employment relationship or a contract is the Written Statement Directive. It has not been reviewed since its adoption in 1991 and therefore many new and atypical forms of employment that have emerged since then are not covered by it. Some other aspects of the Directive are outdated or not fully effective and could be improved too.
What did PPMI do to solve the problem?
PPMI and its key subcontractor CSES conducted an ex-ante impact assessment of various options of potential revisions to the Directive. Options included: extending the scope of the Directive to cover new and atypical workers, introducing some basic rights for these workers, extending rights of all workers and improving some aspects of the current Directive, such as the information package, the deadline to provide a written statement to an employee and means of sanctions and redress. To assess the options, we collected evidence on the current situation and what the potential changes would mean for the employers, employees, legal institutions and wider society in each of the 28 Member States. This involved desk research, stakeholder interviews, expert panel, employer survey and managing a network of national experts who collected national evidence. Based on the analysis and synthesis of received evidence, we assessed costs and benefits of each option as well as combinations of options via standard cost model and mutlicriteria analysis.
How did PPMI contribute to solving the problem?
Our study fed directly into the Commission's Impact Assessment, which accompanied the proposal for a new Directive for more transparent and predictable working conditions across the EU. It stemmed from the revision of the current Written Statement Directive. If the Commission proposal goes ahead, the Written Statement Directive will be repealed by the new Directive on Transparent and Predictable Working Conditions. These changes would mean an increased protection of workers against possible infringement of their rights and an increased transparency about key conditions of their working relationship. Therefore, our work has a direct impact on increasing the protection and wellbeing of employees across the EU, especially those in the non-standard and most precarious forms of employment.