Freelancers are being urged to use the traditional workers’ May Day holiday to back a group that believes the self-employed should be included in such an annual day of rest.
In fact, the European Freelancers’ Movement says that for too long companies have not been obliged to give freelancers and other flexible staff a day-off on holidays tied to the calendar.
So while this May Day, falling on May 5th in the UK, will typically see freelancers glued to their laptops on client projects, they should steal a second to sign EFM’s manifesto, which calls for firms to give freelancers “fairer treatment.”
Joel Dullroy, a co-ordinator of the movement, reflected on the upcoming workers’ day-off, which falls on May 1st in Europe: “This is no holiday for freelancers, but it is a chance for them to make their voice heard.
“Freelancers [should therefore] use the traditional workers’ holiday to take action to improve their conditions.”
According to the manifesto, which will be presented to the European Parliament after the forthcoming election, EU authorities should 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.
The document also calls for better statistics on freelancers; greater consideration of them when ministers draw up polices and fairer treatment, potentially including annual holidays but also extending to better contracts and working conditions.