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European campaign to improve conditions for freelancers
by Susie Hughes at 11:23 30/04/14 (News on Business)
A new campaign is encouraging freelancers to use the traditional workers' May-Day holiday as a focal point to take action for better recognition, working conditions and access to services.
The May Day Holiday (May 5 in the UK and May 1 in the rest of Europe) is traditionally associated with the workers' day of rest and commemoration.

But the recently launched European Freelancers' Movement' says that freelancers will remain on the job during that day, finishing projects for companies that aren't obliged to give their flexible staff a day off on May Day, or any other scheduled holiday.

This May Day,the European Freelancers' Movement wants independent workers to sign a five-point manifesto that calls for better recognition, access to services, and fairer treatment by governments and businesses.

Joel Dullroy, a co-ordinator of the European Freelancers' Movement, said: "May Day is no holiday for freelancers, but it is a chance for them to make their voice heard by joining our movement. There are more than nine million freelancers across Europe today, and we're no longer an ignorable minority. We have specific needs and concerns, and governments will have to start taking us seriously."

The campaign has been set up by a coalition of organisations, networks and individuals striving to change the political landscape in favour of freelancers.

The campaign's manifesto, which will be presented to the European Parliament after the forthcoming election, carries five demands.

  • It asks EU authorities to recognise freelancers as a legitimate employment and business category.
  • Once recognised, the manifesto demands freelancers be given access to Government services and funding, from which they are often excluded.
  • Better statistics are a key demand, as official data about freelancers are unreliable.
  • Freelancersí organisations are requesting to be consulted by governments when drafting policy.
  • And finally, businesses are targeted with a demand to treat freelancers fairly, with better contracts and condition.

Mr Dullroy said: "These simple requests are the most basic first steps politicians can take to improving conditions for independent workers."

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