The Portuguese government has approved a bill that would see gig economy workers treated as employees with formal contracts and benefits.
The bill was approved late last week but is still to be voted in by parliament, although it is not expected to meet opposition as the socialist government has support from other left-wing parties.
If passed, it would grant drivers for ride hailing and delivery apps such as Uber and Glovo to be treated as employees rather than self-employed.
Portugal’s labour minister Ana Mendes Godinho said the legislation would assume that a worker of the digital platform operator is an employee with a formal contract whenever there is evidence of relationships between the platform, the worker who provides the service and the customers.
“Fighting precarious employment is one of our top priorities,” she said.
Digital platforms such as Uber and Glovo would also be obliged to communicate with the country’s Work Conditions Authority on how its algorithms and artificial intelligence mechanisms are used.
Portugal is the latest country to introduce legislation to protect workers in precarious labour arrangements.
In May, Spain passed a landmark gig economy law to give platform workers employee status and unions the right to access algorithms used by companies such as Uber.
It gave companies in the sector three months to hire any workers freelancing for them and to provide corresponding labour rights.
Courts in both France and the UK have recognised Uber drivers as workers; the taxi company now recognises the GMB union in the UK and has launched a pension scheme for drivers.
The European Commission began a six-week consultation on gig economy workers’ rights in February, but is yet to report on its findings.