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European employers organisations unite to promote diverse forms of work

The World Employment Confederation-Europe join forces with European associations representing the sectors of retail and wholesale, contract catering, hotels and restaurants and cleaning and facility services to promote better recognition of the role that diverse forms of work play for the European economy and society – in particular for its recovery after the Covid-19 crisis.

Published on 25th November 2020

On 25 November, EFCI, EuroCommerce, FoodServiceEurope, Hotrec and World Employment Confederation-Europe published a joint statement calling for the recognition of the essential role that diverse and adaptable forms of work play for Europe’s recovery. The European employers organisations’ statement is adopted against the background of the devastating impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the person-to-person services sectors. Diverse forms of work, including part-time work, fixed-term work and temporary agency work meet the needs of both employees and labour intensive services sectors in Europe by fostering employment, economic resilience and work life balance.

“Diverse and adaptable forms of work are a key driver of job creation, enhance competitiveness and allow organisations to adapt to change in an increasingly volatile economic environment”, says Denis Pennel, Manging Director of the World Employment Confederation-Europe. “Labour market regulation and social protection schemes in Europe are not sufficiently adapted to value diverse forms of work. In these challenging times in particular, the private employment services industry helps reallocating workers and it drives the economic recovery thanks to its network of 111,500 agencies and 565,800 HR specialists.”

Diverse forms of work help to create jobs that adapt to the changing realities of person-to-person services sectors by strengthening social cohesion through better work-life balance, by supporting career choices, by fostering social inclusion and enabling personal choice. Diverse forms of work furthermore grant access to social protection and training, thus offering security for workers. All together, the 7.8 million companies active in the sectors of cleaning and facility services, retail and wholesale, contract catering, hotels and restaurants and private employment services make every day real economic and social contributions to European citizens. Therefore, their European associations jointly call on the European Commission to adopt proactive action by:

  • Recognising the contribution of diverse forms of work to dynamic and inclusive labour markets by lowering the administrative burden on companies, in particular SMEs, and facilitating the quick adaptation to workforce needs.
  • Promoting diverse forms of work as a steppingstone for individuals into the labour market that opens future career pathways.
  • Ensuring social protection in all forms of work or safeguard the necessary means to access it, by guaranteeing that all workers play their role in all labour markets, ensuring the adaptability of economies and protecting and integrating workers.
  • Ensuring that all forms of work are protected by national short-time work schemes, granting full employment protection to all sectors.
  • Helping up-skilling and reskilling the workforce via the different EU funding opportunities and make sure that workers are ready to face the challenges of the digital age and willing to adopt more sustainable behaviours. With the new multi-annual financial framework being put in place and the NextGenerationEU Recovery Fund, equal access to EU funding for all forms of work should be ensured.
  • Promoting Social Dialogue by fully including diverse and adaptable forms of work in collective bargaining.
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