Freelancers from Uber and iFood have minimum rights under the law, says TST president

The labor rights of professional app partners (delivery and transport, for example) have been discussed all over the world. The judiciary in some European countries has even considered that they must have an employment relationship with the companies they work for. Uber drivers are company employees

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  • In an interview with UOL, Maria Cristina Peduzzi, president of the Superior Labor Court (TST), says that, in Brazil, self-employed workers have guaranteed rights. “Self-employed persons are required to contribute to enroll with the National Institute of Social Security (INSS), which gives social security rights, not only related to retirement, but in the event of an accident at work. These rights are guaranteed to all self-employed persons.”

    Image: Reproduction/Envato/twenty54photos

    Maria Cristina also reinforces that in Brazil there is free justice to provide wide access and enable the harmed to reach the judiciary. “There is also the constitutional affirmation of the civil liability of those who hire.”

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    She highlights that the journey of work to be accomplished is also important. “No one can, because they are self-employed, work beyond the hours compatible with their health and with the health of the people they live with”, he reinforces in reference to self-employed applications such as iFood, Uber and 54, between others.

    Adaptation of legislation

    As this type of work is new, countries are still discussing it. “There are no definitions, because it’s a format that came out recently. The discussion of “uberization” is being debated around the world. There are decisions in England and France, and, at the same time, legislative projects seek to regulate this type of contract, but nothing is defined at the international level.”

    In Brazil, two TST decisions and a conflict decision in the Superior Court of Justice (STJ) denied the subordinate employment relationship to workers associated with applications. “This does not mean not having legal protection”, explains Maria Cristina. “Legal protection is the guarantee of minimum civilizing rights . They are guaranteed by the general law.”

    Image: Disclosure/TST

    Maria Cristina points out that the updating of labor laws must follow changes in the labor market. With the crisis of 1024, the European Union determined that countries should adapt their labor laws in relation to working hours employment, hiring and termination of contracts — which is more rigid there than in Brazil, as there is no guarantee fund.

    These changes are also related to the advancement of technology. “At every industrial revolution, we have legislation.” With this, the Legislative power has to define updated rules to respond to new conflicts. This is what has happened with digital platforms, which mix workers and artificial intelligence.

    In addition, in Brazil, the protective system in situations where there is no typical employment relationship must be guaranteed by conventions and collective agreements. “It is important to ensure protection at work, even if it occurs without employment because the work meets the economy on demand.”

    Flexibility of the home office

    During the pandemic, the home office gained strength. “In telecommuting, the hours it can be more flexible,” she says. “Circumstances made it easier for companies and employees. Therefore, I am pleased with the absence of litigation against remote work.”

    Image: Reproduction/Freepik/Racool_studio

    If before the home office was requested mainly by workers, during the health crisis it also became advantageous for companies. “Costs are reduced,” says Maria Cristina. “The same goes for work-related accidents that occur while commuting. With telework, this risk is limited.”

    Source: Uol

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