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HR Legal Update: What is next for B2B contracts? Implementation of the directive on improving working conditions in digital platform work is on the horizon


Recently, there has been a stir around Poland’s implementation of the EU directive on improving working conditions of digital platforms workers. 2025’s implementation deadline seems more and more realistic.Although generally speaking this directive only concerns people working digital platforms such as Uber (that gave its name to ‘employment uberisation’), it may have far-reaching practical impact on Polish labour market.

1. What is the aim of the directive?

The directive provides for a rebuttable legal presumption that the contractual relationship between an online platform and a person performing duties through that platform should be considered an employment relationship.
In reality, in order to ensure equal treatment of all workers, this presumption may be extended to other industry sectors as well.

2. What will be the consequences of the directive implementation?

The proposed changes will potentially affect up to several millions of people who are currently working with companies under B2B and other civil law contracts. The effect of the implementation will be automatic reclassification of these contracts as employment agreements.

According to the draft directive, the presumption of employment relationship’s existence will be rebuttable during court or administrative proceedings. The roles will thus be reversed. Currently a person co-operating under a B2B contract may claim the existence of employment relationship in court. However, after the implementation – as the employment relationship will be presumed – companies will have to claim existence of relationships other than the employment relationship.

Until the presumption of an employment relationship is lifted, those who were cooperating under B2B agreements will be qualified as employees, which means that they will be automatically granted employee rights, such as minimum wage, paid holidays, as well as any parental rights resulting, for example, from the recent implementation of the work-life balance directive.

On the other hand, they will be also treated as employees in terms of taxes and contributions. From a strictly financial point of view, the change will be disadvantageous for a significant number of people previously working on the basis of a B2B contract.

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