18 June 2024
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EU Parliament's approval of Platform Workers Directive: Implications for Irish Worker Status

To The Point
(5 min read)

Correctly classifying workers in any business is important due to the significant implications for tax, social welfare, and employment law arising from any misclassification.

In April 2024, the European Parliament adopted the Platform Workers Directive, aimed at enhancing employment law protections for platform workers across the EU. This action, coupled with recent case law developments in Ireland and a guidance note published by the Revenue Commissioners in May 2024 on the tax treatment of self-employed workers, significantly emphasises the importance of the issue for businesses.

With the Directive to be implemented in Ireland by 2026, businesses should now start to review their business models with an emphasis on the question of how workers are classified both for employment law and tax purposes. 

The growth of platform work, facilitated through digital channels such as websites or apps has, in recent years, been a feature of business models across the EU and internationally. While platform work may offer flexibility to both businesses and workers, there has been an increased focus in the EU on the working conditions and protections available to platform workers. 

The European Commission estimated that, in 2021, there were up to 28 million platform workers in the EU, with about 5.5 million misclassified as self-employed. The Directive is intended to improve working conditions and personal data protection, irrespective of worker location or contract details. When approved formally by the EU Council, Member States will have two years to implement the Directive by means of domestic legislation. 


Overview of the Platform Workers Directive
Comparison with Current Irish Law
Restrictions on data processing

Key Takeaways

Companies using platforms as a model for engagement of workers should now review contractual documents and work practices having regard to the Karshan framework and in anticipation of the additional data processing and algorithmic oversight obligations as dictated by the Directive.

What this means is that where individuals are engaged through platforms, businesses should: 

  • Conduct a thorough review of their contractual documents and actual work practices. 
  • Pre-emptively address forthcoming obligations related to data processing and algorithmic oversight, which are anticipated to emerge as direct consequences of the Directive.


To the Point 

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