Published on 12th May 2020
Most European countries are moving beyond the immediate response to the Covid-19 outbreak and prepare for restarting their economies which have been hit hard by the containment measures. Business services sectors have been in the front line during the crisis and will continue to play an instrumental role in the recovery.
“Private employment services, and agency work in particular, has been severely hit by the Covid-19 crisis across Europe. In some countries, the number of agency workers has been cut by 50% to 70%. Our sector has taken initiatives to protect those workers, re-allocating them to new jobs, enabling remote work or compensating for their loss of revenues. We have also made use of the available EU and national programmes, including short-time working schemes,” explains Michael Freytag, Public Affairs Manager at the World Employment Confederation-Europe and chairman of EBSA. “But now we need to move towards building an enabling environment that will allow business services to fully play their role in bringing people safely back to work.”
Business services are often invisible – yet important – services that represent around 12% of the European economy and are key drivers in increasing its productivity. In the context of the Covid-19 crisis, cleaning and facility services industry ensures safe and healthy environments. Private security services guarantees compliance with public health and safety measures in the reopening of business sectors, shops and transport. Catering supports those working in essential sectors, such as hospitals and care homes, by providing them food services. Private employment services play a labour market allocation role, supporting workers to move from declining to rising sectors, and provide key services to companies by offering the required talent and HR solutions matching their needs.
The World Employment Confederation-Europe and its partners in the European Business Services Alliance (EBSA) therefore calls on the European Commission to continue supporting with targeted measures the most affected sectors and their ecosystems. On 15th April 2020, the joint European roadmap to lifting coronavirus containment measures proposed a gradual approach and the progressive replacement of gradual measures by more targeted ones.
The European Business Service Alliance (EBSA) brings together the European associations within the business services sector.
EBSA works on increasing knowledge, visibility and recognition of the business services industry at the European level and promote the convergence of views and positions expressed by European Business Services associations in order to enhance their ability to make strong representations to the EU Institutions and other relevant European and international stakeholders. WEC-Europe currently holds the chairmanship of EBSA.