Employment commissioner-designate vows to upgrade and extend workers' rights

01 October 2019

EU commissioner-designate for jobs, Nicholas Schmit, today pledged to enhance workers' rights and extend them to all sectors, including the gig economy, showcasing the reforms the EU is implementing and reiterating why we must remain in the European Union, Labour MEPs said.

He said workers in the gig economy should get the same rights as other workers; committed to implementing the European Pillar of Social Rights, a European Strategy to combat poverty and the European Social Fund; backed Socialist and Democrat Group proposals for a child guarantee and youth guarantee; and said he would look into proposals for a EU-wide minimum wage.

Mr Schmit, currently a socialist MEP from Luxembourg, was facing questions today from MEPs on the European Parliament employment and social affairs committee as per the commissioner hearings process, with all positions to be confirmed later this month.

Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, Labour's European Parliament spokesperson on employment and social affairs, said:

“More rights for all workers, more money to combat poverty, guarentees to ensure no child is left behind - this is what we mean by reforms in the EU to benefit the many, and this shows why it is vital we remain and bring real change to workers and communities which have been let down by nearly a decade of Tory austerity.

“Only by being in the EU and having a seat at the table can we advocate and implement these transformative policies for all workers, including those in the gig economy who have been exploited by unscrupulous employers for too long. Rights cannot be optional by sector and must be universal - all workers deserve the same protections.

“And we will continue to push for even more, including action to end exploitative zero-hours contracts, the full implementation of measures to end the exploitation of migrant workers and undercutting of wages, measures to end the gender pay gap and new laws on work-life balance including the right to paid carers’ leave.”

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