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"Why continue a situation that is unfair and leaves many workers in uncertainty", SAK’s Senior Legal Adviser Paula Ilveskivi asks in her blog. Photo: iStock.

Does the Finnish government oppose improving the position of platform workers?

We are receiving worrying news from Brussels. Finland may not be supporting the provisional agreement reached by the European Parliament, Council, and Commission for a new Platform Work Directive.

If Finland’s position is negative, one can reasonably ask why the government does not see the need to improve the position of platform workers. Those who work through platforms have long lacked proper recognition and rights.

The adoption of the Platform Work Directive would represent a real improvement in the lives of workers trapped in misclassified and unjust working conditions within platform companies. The status of many food delivery drivers, taxi drivers, and similar professions would improve.

Rejecting the directive proposal would leave workers’ chances of obtaining justice and protection in Finland and across the European Union weak. Around 5.5 million workers who have already suffered from being wrongly classified as independent contractors or entrepreneurs would benefit from decent working conditions.

The disguising of employment relationships as various commission-based or partnership arrangements seems to be increasing and spreading across more industries. Employers shift employment obligations and business risks onto the workers. Why continue a situation that is unfair and leaves many workers in uncertainty?

It is incomprehensible if the Finnish government does not acknowledge the challenges of platform work and the need to protect the rights of these workers. Every worker should have the right to fair working conditions, social security, and other fundamental rights.

The proposal regarding platform work is still on the agenda of Coreper, the Permanent Representatives Committee of the EU Member States, before Christmas. The Central Organisation of Finnish Trade Unions SAK sincerely hopes that the Finnish government will reconsider its position on this matter and take action to ensure better protection and rights for workers. People working through platforms deserve proper appreciation and protection. Supporting the directive would be a step in the right direction towards achieving this goal.