Solo self-employed – EU simplifies collective bargaining – Economy

Certain solo self-employed will be able to negotiate easier collective agreements in the future. The self-employed are considered companies and can therefore come into conflict with EU competition law if they negotiate their fees or other terms and conditions together, as the EU Commission announced on Thursday. “Therefore, the self-employed are often unsure whether they can join together for collective bargaining,” it said. The framework for corresponding negotiations is now being clarified in new guidelines. Accordingly, competition law no longer applies to solo self-employed people who are “in a situation comparable to that of employees”. These included those who provide their services solely or primarily to a business, work side-by-side with workers, or provide their services to or through a digital work platform. Digital work platforms include, for example, delivery services such as Gorillas and Lieferando or driving service providers such as Uber. In addition, the Brussels authority said: “The Commission will not enforce EU competition rules against collective agreements negotiated by solo self-employed people in a weak bargaining position.” A weak position is given, for example, when solo self-employed people conduct collective bargaining with economically stronger companies or under national or EU law. According to the Commission, however, what usually violates EU competition law are agreements on prices that consumers should pay for a service.

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