EAEA responds to the Commission’s Consultation on the European Pillar of Social Rights
On the 26th of April 2017, the European Commission released a policy package on the long-awaited European Pillar of Social Rights. The package included a document of 20 principles that constitute the pillar as such, as well as a number of other initiatives aiming to develop and apply the principles of the pillar. The Pillar of Social Rights is about delivering new and more effective rights for citizens. It builds upon 20 key principles, structured around three categories:
- Equal opportunities and access to the labour market
- Fair working conditions
- Social protection and inclusion
The commission’s document strongly takes up the positions expressed by the EAEA regarding the situation of atypical workers in our sector and proposes an expansion of the definition of “worker” at European level, opening the door to protection and rights for performers with a freelance/self-employed status. Furthermore, the Commission proposal sets out the possibility of recalibrating the directive so that the rights set out in the written statement would gain binding and normative value, meaning that this directive, would, in practice, become the primary vehicle for delivering the European Pillar of Social Rights. FIA, FIM and UNI-MEI welcomed the clear take up of the issues raised in our response to the initial social pillar consultation last year and actively participated in the first phase social partner consultation on the Commission’s proposal offering feedback from our sector on definition of worker and the reflection carried out in our sector in the context of collective bargaining and the clash with competition rules.
Closely related is the accompanying first phase consultation of the European social partners on access to social protection. Again, the Commission document captures many of the issues arising from new and atypical forms of work. It states that today's more flexible working arrangements provide new job opportunities especially for the young but can potentially give rise to new precariousness and inequalities. The Commission wants to explore ways of providing as many people as possible with social security cover, including self-employed and gig-economy workers. In practice, these people should also be able to build up rights against contributions.
Download the EAEA response here.