This consultation sits at the crossroads between the European Commission’s REFIT program to ‘better legislate’, which consists of reviewing European laws in order to verify their efficacy vis-à-vis the goals they initially try to achieve, and the Commission’s Social Rights Pillar which will also treat the question of adapting social legislation to new work-life circumstances.

Directive 91/53, called the Written Statement Directive, gives employees the right to be notified in writing of the essential aspects of their employment relationship. “The goal is to protect employees from non-respect or breaches of their rights,” explained the European Commission. It is as regards this objective as well as in pursuing transparency that the European Executive wants to assess the efficacy of this Directive, which dates back to 1991. This is not all however, the assessment is also necessary because of fundamental changes currently occurring in the labor market, characterized by a broader diversity of the types of employment relationships, explained the background document written for the public consultation (which is open to all, and in the form of a questionnaire. The reference background refers to teleworking, temporary employment, zero hour contracts, employee sharing or job sharing, voucher-based work paid employment (special vouchers in Italy, and Recibo Verde in Portugal), interim management, mobile working, and collaborative modes of employment. The Directive only requires the Member States to implement the obligation to inform employees for cases where employees qualify as paid employees, something, which varies across the Member States. The consultation is thus examining the pertinence of actually extending this obligation to these new forms of work for all Member States.

The consultation period closes on 20 April 2016. Access the European Commission public consultation page here.