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Social Dialogue

Social Dialogue is key to balancing the interests of workers and businesses in industrial relations, while respecting national, cultural and regional traditions. In doing so, it has a track record in promoting quality labour conditions and productive corporations. Social Dialogue is thus an essential element to ensure decent work and economic growth, one the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

Given the significant challenges that the world of work is currently facing, Social Dialogue needs to re-invent itself to sustain its added value for workers and businesses. The World Employment Confederation-Europe is the recognised, EU Sectoral Social Partner for temporary agency work, representing the employers in the sectoral social dialogue wth UNI Europa.

EU Sectoral Social Dialogue

The World Employment Confederation-Europe is the recognised EU sectoral social partner for temporary agency work at EU level and has been engaged in EU Sectoral Social Dialogue since 2001. The counterpart representing workers’ organisations is UNI Europa.

Every two years, the sectoral social partners agree on a new work programme focusing on different aspects related to regulation of temporary agency work, EU employment policies, capacity building and joint research.

The EU Sectoral Social Dialogue Work Programme 20192020  

The most recent sectoral social dialogue work programme has focused on social innovation, notably through a new joint research project conducted by CEPS and the Catholic University of Leuven/HIVA. The outcomes of the project have been presented on December 1, 2020. The research team studied 15 cases of social innovation practices implemented in the temporary agency work sector in the areas of training, working conditions and social protection.

As a result, the World Employment Confederation-Europe and UNI-Europa adopted joint recommendations to foster social innovation.

 

Besides fostering social dialogue, the World Employment Confederation-Europe and UNI-Europa encourage further collaboration with policymakers and stakeholders, especially education training providers and institutions arranging social protection, in order to foster the transferability and scalability of social innovation practices across countries and sectors. They also recommend facilitating access to funding for national social partners at European and national level as well as using the opportunities offered by new technologies such as automation, digitalisation and artificial intelligence.

The COVID-19 pandemic poses an unprecedented, major challenge to economies and societies around the world and it has also severely impacted the temporary agency work sector.

Building on a long-standing tradition of social dialogue, the World Employment Confederation-Europe and UNI-Europa decided to address this challenge together and issued joint recommendations on 29 April 2020 to both mitigate the immediate impact of the crisis and prepare for the recovery of the labour market and the economy.

Joint research and statements

Through their various projects, the World Employment Confederation-Europe and UNI Europa agreed several joint recommendations and declarations on topics of relevance to the agency work sector, such as:

  • Monitor and foster the correct classification of people working via online talent platforms at national level (Joint Recommendations on online talent platforms, labour market intermediaries and the changing world of work, 2017)
  • Carry out better data collection and reporting at EU and national levels to enable comparative analysis of different forms of employment and to better differentiate temporary agency work from the more generic category of temporary work (Joint Recommendations on comparing temporary agency work with other forms of employment, 2015)
  • Involve the sectoral social partners in the implementation of active labour market policies. Taking advantage of their expertise on transitions will be instrumental for the success of programmes designed to increase labour market participation (Joint recommendations on temporary agency work facilitating transitions in the labour market, 2012)
  • Funding for training should be simplified for the temporary agency work sector, especially with regards to the European Social Fund and the funds managed by other sectoral training bodies (Joint Declaration on vocational training, 2009)

 

For more information about the joint research projects on agency work conducted by the World Employment Confederation-Europe and UNI Europa, visit our page dedicated to the Agency Work sector.

 

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