Published on 26th January 2023
Sectoral Social Dialogue, both on the European and national level, has been essential to balance workers’ rights and business growth in the private employment services industry – and its agency work sector in particular. The European Commission’s initiative to further strengthen and promote social dialogue, presented on 25 January 2023, is therefore a welcomed proposal to utilize it at its best.
“Adapting social dialogue practices to the rapidly changing world of work, taking account of current trends of digitalisation, platform work and remote work, is essential to ensure that social dialogue unfolds its full potential in fostering dynamic, inclusive and resilient labour markets,” says Sonja van Lieshout, WEC-Europe Executive Committee member and Chair of WEC-Europe Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee. “That is a key focus in the European Social Dialogue and our cooperation with Uni-Europa, but it is equally necessary to strengthen the capacity of sectoral social partners at the national level, in accordance with national law and industrial relations systems. It is against this background that as EU Sectoral Social Partners for temporary agency work, we have included a joint project on capacity building in our current work programme.”
Regarding the actions outlined in the European Commission’s Communication, the World Employment Confederation-Europe welcomes the proposed Council Recommendation, the exchange in the context of sectoral social dialogue committees on relevant topics (such as the dialogue that social partners for temporary agency work started in 2022, focusing on labour shortages) and actions to promote social dialogue outcomes and follow-up.
About the role of sectoral social dialogue in addressing diverse forms of work, the World Employment Confederation-Europe would like to highlight the constructive, long-lasting exchange in the temporary agency work sector that has resulted in several joint recommendations and projects, such as the joint recommendations on dynamic, inclusive and resilient labour markets adopted in 2022 and the joint project on social innovation concluded in 2020.
Concerning possible changes in the organisation and financing of EU Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee meetings, the World Employment Confederation-Europe strongly calls for taking an approach that reconciles EU Sectoral Social Partners needs and institutional requirements, while keeping up with today’s labour market realities. This should be encouraged by the European Commission playing a role in facilitating sectoral social dialogue.