The Government wants to give priority to the regulation of the rights and duties of digital platforms, explained this Wednesday the Minister of Labor, Ana Mendes Godinho, at the end of the social consultation meeting where the Green Paper on the Future of Labor was discussed.
“We take as a priority the regulation of digital platforms and the situation of platform workers,” Ana Mendes Godinho told journalists. The Minister of Labor later added that she will try to achieve “the highest possible level of consensus” with the social partners in an initiative “which the Government will take over in the short term”.
The Green Paper on the future of Labor, consulted by Negócios, proposes that legislation simplifies the process of recognizing an employment contract when it does not exist, and a tax and contributory regime “adapted” to this new reality.
In the document that was presented this Wednesday to the partners, it explains how it can facilitate the recognition of an employment contract: “the fact that the service provider uses its own work instruments, as well as the fact that it is exempt from fulfilling duties of attendance, punctuality and non-competition is not incompatible with the existence of a “dependent” working relationship between the provider and the digital platform.
The intention to “create a contributory and tax system adapted to this new reality” is confirmed, but, questioned on the subject, the Minister of Labor did not give details.
Teleworking advances in Parliament, Government does not want to regulate expenses
Another issue under discussion with the social partners is the regulation of teleworking.
Speaking to journalists, the Minister of Labor said that she is also trying to find “the lines of greatest possible consensus” on this matter, which will be discussed in Parliament in the coming weeks. Bloco de Esquerda and PCP have already submitted their proposals, waiting for the PS to do the same.
The Green Paper proposes that, in the future, teleworking will continue to depend on agreement as a rule, but admits to widening the range of workers who may be telecommuting even against the will of the company, whether for reasons of conciliation, or especially for workers with handicap or disability.
Questioned by journalists, the minister has shown no intention of moving towards regulation of expenses to be paid by the employer.
“Our option is for matters to be as much as possible regulated in the context of collective bargaining”, that is, by the agreements signed between employers’ and trade union associations, which does not have immediate effects.
The Government has argued that the transitional legislation in force during the pandemic obliges the employer to pay the internet and telephone expenses, but lawyers believe that the legislation is not sufficiently clear, even in relation to the expenses covered (if anyone considers that it include electricity) or in relation to the calculation of the value that arises specifically from the provision of teleworking.