The European Parliament and the Council adopted Directive 2019/1152/EU on transparent and predictable working conditions. The directive was published on the 11.07.2019 and entered into force on 31.07.2019. Cyprus must implement the Directive by the 01.08.2022 at the latest, at which time it will replace the provisions of Directive 91/533/EEC on an employer’s obligation to inform employees of the conditions applicable to their contract or employment relationship.
The aim of the Directive is to extend to new forms of work, such as online platform workers or on-demand workers, the minimum requirements for working conditions and the obligation on employers to provide information to workers on the essential elements of the employment relationship.
Cyprus has a discretion not to apply the Directive to workers who work less than an average of 3 hours per week in a reference period of four consecutive weeks. This threshold is lower than that provided by Directive 91/533/EEC, which allowed for the exclusion of employees who have an employment relationship of less than 1 month (or a working week of less than 8 hours).
The Directive details the information which is considered as essential to the employment relationship and must be communicated to workers. Most of the information must be provided in writing to the worker within 7 days (whereas for certain other information the deadline is extended to 1 month). It should be noted that the time provided is shorter than the 2 months allowed by Directive 91/533/EEC.
The most important provisions however relate to “new” rights. These include:
(a) Maximum duration of any probationary period – In general, this must not exceed 6 months. Exceptionally, longer probationary periods may be established where justified by the nature of the employment or in the interest of the worker;
(b) Parallel employment – workers have the right to take up employment with other employers outside of their work schedule and employers will be prohibited from subjecting workers to adverse treatment for working with other employers outside their work schedule. Restrictions may be applied on objective grounds, such as health and safety, the protection of business confidentiality, the integrity of the public service or the avoidance of conflicts of interests;
(c) Minimum predictability of work – minimum predictability of work is imposed, by i.e. a work assignment within a reasonable notice period;
(d) Complementary measures for on-demand contracts – obligation on member states to prevent the abuse of “on-demand employment” by taking measures;
(e) Transition to another form of employment – workers with at least 6 months’ service with the same employer may request a form of employment with more predictable and secure working conditions (where available) and receive a reasoned written reply;
(f) Mandatory training – where an employer is required (either under national law or by a collective agreement) to provide training to a worker to carry out the work for which he or she is employed, such training should be provided to the worker free of cost, shall count as working time and, where possible, shall take place during working hours.
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Theodorou Law is a Cyprus law firm with Cyprus lawyers and other legal experts on legal matters involving Cyprus law, EU law and international law. The above should be used as a source of general information only. It is not intended to give a definitive statement of the law.
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