Europe could be Seeing Decline of its Gig Economy

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In its stock market debut, British food delivery firm Deliveroo saw its share price tank around 30 as questions materialized over workers rights for its riders. In the days running up to the listing, the company revised its share price as some investors opted to avoid the IPO over these concerns. Deliveroo is just one example of a wider gig economy that is coming under increasing scrutiny. In recent weeks, the industry has been rocked by a slew of court rulings and regulatory moves around Europe that could ultimately upend the business model.

Ubers loss in the U.K. Supreme Court last month forced the company to reclassify 70,000 of its British drivers as workers, giving them a minimum wage, paid vacation time and pension plans as a result. In Spain, legislators have introduced a raft of measures that would recategorize gig workers as employees with formal contracts and benefits.

All the while, the European Commission, the EUs executive arm, is thrashing out plans for some kind of regional reform on gig economy workers, their status and their rights.

Other companies are preparing for change in some form, whether instigated by regulation or on their own volition in advance. Just Eat Takeaway, Europes biggest online food delivery firm, is moving its Just Eat delivery riders to employment contracts. Prior to the companies merger, the riders of the original firm called Takeaway.com were on such contracts. As part of this model, couriers are entitled to an hourly salary,…

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