Countouris, Nicola et Valerio De Stefano (2019) New Trade Union Strategies for New Forms of Employment, Bruxelles, ETUC.

Starting with the question “who is a worker?”, the report identifies similarities and differences between the countries covered by the survey. In a following part, after a comparative perspective on the various legal status of self-employed workers, the researchers test national laws against various labour scenarios. The findings show that the self-employed category is increasingly populated by a heterogeneous group of workers with a weak position in the labour market which prevents them from having a strong organisational autonomy or independence in the marketplace. The report also tackles the collective labour rights of self-employed workers as well as legal obstacles to collective bargaining due to restrictive interpretation of antitrust law. In a final part it examines the various proposals and debates on this issue at national and EU level and as a conclusion it puts forward a proposal for a new “personal work relation” to be potentially supported by unions. This proposal defines the personal scope of application of labour law (broadly understood as including individual and collective labour law – therefore encompassing the right to organise and bargain collectively – but also employment equality law) as applicable to any person that is engaged by another to provide labour, unless that person is genuinely operating a business on her or his own account. This extensive report will provide you with a useful insight and a comparative perspective on the situation of self-employed workers across Europe.

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