Europe: Back Dat App Up

Are Gig Workers Full-Time Employees? Debate Playing Out in Europe.

Whether or not gig workers will eventually be considered full-time employees is an ongoing debate in parts of the U.S. - think Prop 22 in California - but in Europe, many of these decisions are playing out for us, and the boys dig into this and other topics with special guest Matt Alder of The Recruiting Future Podcast. Also covered is how Google has been illegally underpaying thousands of temporary workers in dozens of countries, including many in Europe.

Lastly, the show dives into the recent investment in startup Applied, known for its unbiased hiring service, and whether or not the trend of diversity hiring hits the same in Europe as it does in the U.S. and elsewhere.


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C&C does Europe INTRO (-1h -1m -26s):

Thank you for listening to, what's it called? The podcast with Chad, the Cheese. Brilliant. They talk about recruiting. They talk about technology, but most of all, they talk about nothing. Just a lot of Shout Outs of people, you don't even know and yet you're listening. It's incredible. And not one word about cheese, not one cheddar, blue, nacho, pepper jack, Swiss. So many cheeses and not one word. So weird. Any hoo be sure to subscribe today on iTunes, Spotify, Google play, or wherever you listen to your podcasts, that way you won't miss an episode. And while you're at it, visit just don't expect to find any recipes for grilled cheese. Is so weird. We out. Some podcasts, do it for the fun. Some do it for the fame, Chad and Cheese they do it for global effin domination.

C&C does Europe INTRO (14s):

That's why bringing America to its knees was just the beginning. Now they have their eyes set on conquering Europe and they've drafted industry veteran Lieven Van Nieuwenhuyze of Belgium to help them navigate the old country and bring HR's most dangerous podcast across the pond to trash-talk like never before. Not safe for work in any language. The Chad and Cheese podcast does Europe.

Joel (39s):

Oh yeah, Germany will have a new chancellor this month. That's always worked out pretty well. Right? You are listening to the Maginhad and Cheese podcast does Europe. I'm your cohost Joel "Magino Line" Cheesman.

Chad (52s):

I'm Chad "Vaxxed and relaxed" Sowash.

Lieven (55s):

I'm still just Lieven.

Joel (57s):

On this episode. Google's mantra used to be, don't be evil, but breaking the law might be a better one today. Giggers are starting to be recognized as employees in the old country and diversity recruiting isn't just an American thing. And speaking of diversity, we have four middle-aged white men on today's podcast. Party, like it's 1957 shall we?

sfx (1m 23s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Chad (1m 26s):

We have a mystery guest right this, this week?

Joel (1m 29s):


Chad (1m 31s):

Okay. Straight out of Europe, kids straight out, straight out of the UK, straight out of Scotland at 27 Stones. I don't even know what that is. How heavy is 27 stones?

Joel (1m 45s):

Weighing in at 32 pints. He's that British guy, Matt Alder everybody.

Matt (1m 53s):

27 stones is a lot more than I actually way to set the record straight at this point.

Chad (2m 2s):

How much is a stone? I don't, I don't understand what does a stone weight?

Matt (2m 6s):

I don't know. I don't know what it is in newfangled weights measures. I'm afraid.

Joel (2m 10s):

Well then let's get to who you are Matt. For those who don't know,

Matt (2m 14s):

I am Matt Alder and I am the host and producer of the Recruiting Future podcast, which is a proud member of the evergreen HR podcast network. Like, like the Chad and Cheese show. Unlike the Chad and cheese show my podcast is very safe for work.

Chad (2m 35s):

And everybody loves Matt Alder, let's just say that there are plenty of people who don't like Chad and Cheese that's for sure.

Joel (2m 42s):

He's very British and hard to dislike.

Chad (2m 44s):

Yes. Yes.

Joel (2m 47s):

Shall we get to shout outs?

Chad (2m 48s):

My first shout out goes to you, Joel, are you ready?

Joel (2m 51s):

Oh, I like that.

Chad (2m 53s):

How does it feel to be in the most backward country in the civilized world right now? The US is that 54.5% vaccination. The UK represented by Matt Alder 66%, Belgium represented by Lieven 72% and Portugal 80%. Are you fucking kidding me US?

Joel (3m 16s):

The last I heard the, the entire continent of Africa was like 1% vaccinated. So I take a little, I take a little offense to that. Okay. Just Africa while you're at it. That's nice. All right. That's all right. That's all right. I, I want to, I'm going to trade in my shout-outs for two questions this week. I'll ask the first one and then you guys can.

Chad (3m 38s):

Let's ask the judge. Is this allowed? Okay. He says it's okay, so go ahead.

Joel (3m 42s):

I don't know who the judge is. It's our fucking show. Anyway. So my first question is, and I mentioned it in the beginning is that Germany is getting a new chancellor, which means zippo to most Americans, but Germany is the biggest economy in Europe, as far as I understand. So I want to ask the Europeans, what does Germany getting a new chancellor? What does Angela Merkel leaving mean to Germany? What does it mean to Europe, particularly from an economics perspective? Who do you guys expect to win? What's going on in Germany?

Lieven (4m 15s):

Matt do you have a clue? I don't.

Matt (4m 17s):

I'm not a close follower of German politics to be perfectly honest. And I think this kind of underlines the fact that Europe is a lot of different countries. So whilst, you know, we completely understand the significance of the German election and the significance of the German economy within Europe. I couldn't really tell you much about who the runners and riders are.

Joel (4m 42s):

Now I'm going to call out Europe then because Americans get a lot of shit for being stupid and not caring about the rest of the world and not caring about anyone but ourselves. And now you two Europeans, come on our show and don't know shit about the German election, the biggest economy in your continent. So as an American, like that says a lot, like we're not as bad as Europe. Maybe we're a lot alike, which is sort of this, which is sort of the whole point of this show is how similar we are. Quit bashing America, Europe.

Chad (5m 16s):

It's just so easy right now.

Lieven (5m 17s):

You are so happy. We didn't know about the German politics.

Joel (5m 22s):

I'm surprised. I thought you guys would be able to tell me more about American politics than I would. And the fact that you don't even know what what's going on in Germany is sorta heartwarming as an American.

Matt (5m 34s):

I can probably tell you more about American politics than I can about German politics right now. I do have a shout out though. I would shout out to Scotland. The Scottish government announced a couple of weeks ago that they are going to trial a four day working week in some parts of the public sector. So that's exciting news.

Chad (5m 53s):

Oh that's awesome!

Joel (5m 54s):

Yes. Does that include podcasters?

Matt (5m 56s):

I only worked four days anyway.

Joel (6m 1s):

Chad won't let me work four days a week.

Chad (6m 3s):

Because you only work two.

Joel (6m 6s):


Lieven (6m 8s):

It works for days when it's really, really busy.

Joel (6m 10s):


Lieven (6m 11s):

Here I've got to shout out too, I understand I'm going to shout it out. My shout out goes to Evander better. He's the president of my favorite soccer team, a Gant and according to newspaper the tent. he's about to sell his HR company Hudson for the second time and accidentally I told him it's an interesting story. He founded Devita Morel in 1982, sold it to IWA in 1995, he sold it to TMP worldwide in 2001. And then in 2003 TMP was split up and Monster. And then Hudson Devita Morrell was merged with Hudson and Monster was sold to around stats. And now even bought in, bought this company back in 2018 for a dime.

Lieven (6m 52s):

And now at age 73, he's selling the company back again to Randstad.

Chad (6m 58s):


Lieven (6m 58s):

They bought the wrong part of TMP in 2016 and want to make up for it. And I think started going to Monster again.

Joel (7m 7s):

I think that's what we call in America double dipping.

Chad (7m 10s):

Double dip, baby. Ooh. And while we're talking about double dipping, so the 1st of July of this year, the rules of paternity leave in France have changed. Now, new fathers are entitled 25 days leave. That seems pretty awesome to me. I don't know why we can't all get 25 days leave.

Lieven (7m 34s):

Why not get 50?

Joel (7m 37s):

Yeah. Canada's, Canada's insane. Canada's like six months or something. Canada's like equal to the woman, which sounds really sexist and we'll probably get canceled to that comment, but how many days it is in America? Zero.

Chad (7m 51s):

Okay. So first off. Yeah, just biologically, I've never carried a baby or performed labor, but it feels damn hard. So you would think that mom would want some time off or at least a little bit of a break if dad's going back to work as soon as humanly possible, that just doesn't seem good for the family overall. And I don't know, maybe divorce rates, is this something that we see in Europe as kind of like a standard or are the French kind of like leading in parental leave for men? Do you guys know?

Matt (8m 25s):

Yeah. It's different in every country, but it's the principle is fairly standard. So in the UK you actually have shared parental leave. So you can, either parent can kind of, sort of switch in and switch out, so you can kind of share the time between you.

Joel (8m 44s):

And everywhere, it's all government mandated, right? Yeah. Whereas in the U S it is not.

Chad (8m 49s):

Freewheeling capitalism. If it doesn't get paid. Fuck it.

Joel (8m 54s):

So I'm going to get to my next question. So of my two questions, one is of global importance and the other sort of light and airy. I'll let the listeners figure out which question is which, but I have a question for our stylish European guests. I hope you've seen this. Facebook is launching new glasses, smart glasses if you will. They've partnered with Ray-Ban. You guys remember Google glass, you probably remember you probably remember Snapchats lenses or whatever they had. And now Facebook is coming out with their version, which they've probably backed up the Brinks truck to Ray-Bans, headquarters, Luxotica, or whoever owns them.

Joel (9m 35s):

Anyway, I know that I'm not going to wear them in America, but I don't have the fashion sense that you Europeans do. Is Europe going to embrace Facebook's Ray-Ban smart glasses? Yes or no. Lieven?

Lieven (9m 49s):


Joel (9m 50s):

What'd you say nuts?

Lieven (9m 52s):

Like you're a general in 1944 in Bastonia.

Chad (9m 57s):

Nuts, nuts.

Joel (9m 59s):

Matt. You're pretty stylish guy. Are you going to be first in line for the Facebook glasses?

Matt (10m 4s):

I actually wear Ray-Bans the glasses I have got on at the moment are Ray-Bans so, you know, it's kind of, it sounds like an upgrade, but I don't think I'll be upgrading.

Joel (10m 14s):

I don't know. That sounds like a maybe Matt, that sounds like a maybe.

Chad (10m 20s):

Joel just loves the VR.

Matt (10m 23s):

Privacy implications of letting Mark Zuckerberg look through my eyes is a bit too much for me.

Joel (10m 29s):

Oh, you're so naive.

Chad (10m 31s):

Joel just wants to play Fortnite and not look like an idiot.

Joel (10m 36s):

I can't even spell Fortnite correctly. Asked my son, ask my son. Well, let's talk about travel real quick, Chad. Cause you and I are still scheduled to be in Europe on Thanksgiving, which is a little bit offensive to an American like me, but I'm still on schedule to be there Thanksgiving Day in some Bayside town in Belgium. Lieven, you can give us some specifics on what's going on, but Chad and Cheese will be in Europe in November.

Lieven (11m 6s):

Oh, I get to promote my Congress again. Nice, nice. November 25th, we have to eRecruitment Congress, as I said, last edition of the show. It's in Oostende Belgium. It's a whole day of recruitment technology, tweaky notes, 12 breakout sessions. If you want to stay in the know and come to the Congress.

Joel (11m 27s):

And if there are no other shout-outs, let's get to the news shall we?

Chad (11m 36s):


Joel (11m 36s):

Google's been naughty. You guys, this is from a huge story in the Guardian in case you want to Google it and find out more. Google has been illegally underpaying, thousands of temporary workers in dozens of countries and delayed correcting the pay raise for more than two years, as it attempted to cover up the problem. Documents uncovered by the Guardian show big G dragged its feet to correct disparity after learning it was failing to comply with laws in the UK, Europe and Asia. Google execs have been aware of since at least may of 2019, that the company was failing to comply with local laws of the top seven countries affected all, but one is European and the UK having the most contract workers at Google are affected the most.

Joel (12m 18s):

Given the high turnover rate of temporary workers, the number of workers affected by Google's failure is estimated to be in the tens of thousands. Well, let's start with the representative from the UK, Matt, what is Google doing? It's pretty bloody bad, isn't it?

Matt (12m 35s):

It is pretty bloody bad. And that's where, one that does send me a way of describing it. I think what was interesting here is it really underlines the complexity of employment law and labor laws across the world. And you know, that complexity is essentially what they're hiding behind and the big implications for what they and other large companies might be, you know, trying to try to conceal and not deal with. But also on the flip side, I think is interesting that, you know, sometimes we talk about global talent pools and recruiting people all around the world as if it's a really, really easy thing to do.

Matt (13m 19s):

And I think this just kind of really underlines the complexity of, you know, running a global business.

Chad (13m 27s):

Yeah, but you can't tell me that Google doesn't have an army of accountants and lawyers who knew this was happening.

Matt (13m 32s):

Oh they do.

Chad (13m 32s):

I mean, especially in companies with pay parody laws, now maybe 10 years ago, but they're much more mature globally. So yeah, they're hiding behind shit. But the big question for me is which country is actually going to slam the hammer down on Google with a real fine, and not just some pittance because we've seen countries hit Google and Facebook was small fines. And all that really does is send a signal to all the other companies out there saying, okay, yeah, no, that's affordable. I can pay that tax.

Joel (14m 7s):

Yeah. Yeah. I mean, some context for Americans, there are more than 30 countries, including the UK, many EU states in India and Taiwan that have enacted these pay parity laws, which are basically equal treatment laws that require temporary workers to be treated equally to full-time employees who perform the same or similar work. So to Chad's point, you know, I really think that particularly in big tech where there are global businesses, like whether it's Facebook combating, you know, facial recognition issues here in the US, or whether it's Google fighting media in Australia and other parts of the world, I think that the accountants get in the room and say, okay, let's do an analysis on what it's going to cost us to, you know, take this back to court, to pay the fines, to bend the law, file another appeal, et cetera, basically time this out as much as we can until we have to pay a $10 million fine, a hundred million dollar fine.

Joel (15m 7s):

I think Google's highest is in the billions, which is still sort of couch cushion money for them. And by the time they've, you know, by the time they have appealed these laws, you know, their stock is up 40%, which makes it much easier to pay the piper if you will. So the math and the algorithm on these fines and these legal issues with Google and other tech companies to me, is just a math problem to them. And unless a country comes in with like a huge, huge, huge, fine, nothing is ever going to change, this is just going to be the way it is.

Matt (15m 41s):

I think that's an interesting point because it's kind of like how big is a huge fine? Because you know, a huge fine for, you know, for the likes of Google and Facebook and these other companies is just vast. I mean, I was just looking back to see, who'd been fined in the UK, for sort of various things and I found that, you know, Facebook were fined half a million pounds for Cambridge Analytica harvesting data in 2019. Half a million pounds, I mean, that's just a rounding error isn't it.

Joel (16m 13s):

And my guess is there are probably limits to how much a fine can be in a lot of European countries. Whereas, in America, it's a very litigious culture. You can sue everybody for anything and you could probably win tons of money. But my guess is, I don't know, I'm not a judicial expert, but my guess is a lot of these countries probably have limits or rules around how much a fine can be for certain crimes. And that dollar amount is probably nothing compared to what these companies earn in revenues.

Chad (16m 43s):

Well, take a look at just the revenue in the US, it's like $161 billion and that was from a couple of years ago. To be able to take a serious chunk out of that billions of dollars out of that is when they start, when they start to actually notice and then they will change behavior. But you know, the US is not going to do that. Right. So, you know, back to Matt and to Lieven, do you think that any of the EU at all, any of the countries within the EU have the brass balls to actually smack Google hard enough for them to actually give a shit?

Lieven (17m 20s):

I'm pretty sure they will someday.

Chad (17m 24s):

No, not no time soon.

Lieven (17m 27s):

Maybe the successor of Angela Merkel in Germany, whoever that might be.

Joel (17m 32s):

My money's on France.

Lieven (17m 34s):

To me, it's strange that there is no such thing in the U S as equally pay. I mean, it's all about women and men getting paid equally and about our racial stuff, et cetera. But in my opinion, it's normal that a temporary workers should be treated equally to full-time employees.

Chad (17m 50s):


Lieven (17m 50s):

Why isn't, why isn't it the case in the U S? It's weird?

Chad (17m 54s):

Yes, because of margins, it's very simple in the U S we are very focused on one thing, the all mighty dollar that's for the past, at least 50 years, that's what the focus has been.

Lieven (18m 5s):

Yeah. But I mean, why just don't pay them all less?

Joel (18m 9s):

I think a lot of it is, you know, like we treat small businesses differently than we do bigger businesses. And so if you have a certain amount of workers, are they full-time workers, are they part-time then you have to pay them health insurance, which I think is probably where this, the answer really lies is that the line at which someone has to pay health benefits is usually dependent upon how many full-time workers they have. And they don't have to pay full-time workers, health insurance. So there tends to be more healthcare or more, more temporary workers or part-time workers because of that. So a lot of it, I think is limits on, at what point do you have to start paying? At what point do you come under regulations that make it harder to do business?

Joel (18m 50s):

And in America, we try to, we try to put people in pockets to where we don't have to pay health benefits. We don't have to pay other benefits and other things. So my short answer is I think a lot of it stems through our healthcare system.

Chad (19m 4s):

Yeah. And the things that you guys automatically have embedded into everyday work life, which is what we don't.

Lieven (19m 13s):

But I'm working for the temping industry. So I'm a bit biased here, how we get for as far as it's much better if everyone gets paid equally, of course, it didn't be, it wasn't like that's some years ago. So we changed too. But I think for the company culture, it must be devastating. If you have two types of employees, let's say we have an A type around own employees and we pay them one and we give them benefits. And then you have the B type, which are temporary workers. It's crushing for the company spirits, or, but you're a temporary guy you can go away.

Joel (19m 46s):

I think we've always done it that way. And we probably don't see it the same way?

Lieven (19m 51s):


Chad (19m 52s):

Because of margins. Matt?

Matt (19m 54s):

Just on that fine and which country. This is, you know, this is what the EU's for. The EU as an entity is kind of big enough to go off to Google. So I, think it would be interesting to see what happens at that kind of EU level.

Chad (20m 12s):

I think there's too much bureaucracy that would actually have to happen between all those different countries to be able to smack Google that hard or do you think that that's, it was pulled together nimble enough to be able to actually do something like this?

Matt (20m 26s):

Well, that's the question, I don't know the answer but I suspect, I suspect you're right.

Lieven (20m 32s):

I think I put my money on France in this case.

Matt (20m 36s):


Lieven (20m 37s):

They'll be the first to try to get some money out of Google,

Joel (20m 41s):

Some real money.

Lieven (20m 43s):

Give it a try.

sfx (20m 45s):

Europe has a bunch of countries in it.

Joel (20m 47s):

So we talk lot on the weekly show about California's prop 22, which would mean gig workers on platforms like Uber and Door Dash will have to be treated like employees. Hundreds of millions have been spent on media campaigns by said platforms to make sure the proposition doesn't become law. But in Europe we have our first examples of giggers as employees. In Spain, after less than a month of debate, the Spanish Congress approved the writer's law, which presumes writers to be employees. The response from platforms shouldn't surprise anyone.. Anyone Deliveroo announced it was ending operations in Spain, which will result in more than 3000 wri