Work Streams

Access to Good Quality Work

The objective of this work stream is to address issues related to access to good quality work, specifically in light of the current crisis and post-covid management. The work stream focuses on concrete actions that can be executed in a short-time span. In this way we hope to support post-crisis management and contribute to ideas that can aid recovery of the labour market.

In particular, diverse forms of work (e.g. contract work) can provide immediate sources of income, which can be especially advantageous in the times of crises. However, the demands of such situations can put workers, especially those in precarious jobs, in a particularly vulnerable position (from both economic and healthcare perspective), with significant costs for social security systems.

Therefore, the objective of this work stream is to identify key elements that can enhance the quality of jobs in diverse forms of work in the times of crises, as well as suggest ways that can ensure future resilience of labour markets.

Topics that we are discussing:

  • Worker representation
  • Ways to mitigate health and safety risks
  • Cross-border harmonization, including the differences between on-location tasks and online tasks
  • Fair working conditions
  • Fair wages

Social Protection, Rights & Benefits

The objective of this work stream is to assess social protection, rights and benefits for workers in diverse forms of work. This includes various contractual arrangements such as on-call work, zero-hours contracts, temporary agency work, and platform work.

The work stream is quidded by recommendations as outlined by the Council here, but it is also going beyond those order to address issues that may have been neglected or deserve more attention.

The rules governing social protection schemes are still largely based on full-time open-ended contracts between a worker and a single employer, leaving workers in diverse forms of work and self-employed only marginally covered.

Therefore, this work stream strives to assess the social protection, rights and benefits that are currently available to those in full-time employment and evaluate how they can be applied to those in diverse forms of employment and self-employed. The work streams also looks beyond the current social protection schemes to unearth alternative solutions that may be more aligned with the demands of today’s labour market, ensuring the European social model that is future-proof and resilient.

Topics that we are discussing:

  • Assessment of protections that workers in diverse forms of work and the self-employed need
  • Outlook of best practices when it comes to social protection schemes and social benefits available to workers in traditional employment (governmental and private) but not to workers in diverse forms of work and self-employed
  • Regulatory barriers to offering social protection to self-employed (issue of reclassification)
  • The issue of ‘recognition’, or lack of it, that would allow these workers to apply for tenders and other supportive measures
  • Administrative barriers that make access to social protection schemes and social benefits difficult and the ways they can be overcome
  • Alternative forms of social protection (e.g. portable benefits, digital social security model)

Skills and Career Development

This work stream encompasses topics related to skills development and utilisation in the digital world as well as funding schemes that can be appropriated.

The group will map specific skills that workers in diverse forms of work and self-employed have and further acquire and suggest possibilities for career advancement. The need to have processes in place and finance skills enhancement, as well as recognize them in the digital environment, will be addressed.

Aware of different national legislations in the EU, the group strives to make suggestions based on the reality beyond the EU, including in the EU neighbouring countries, by focusing on best practices, among other things.

This work stream is guided by the New Skills Agenda proposed by the European Commission as outlined here

Topics that we are discussing:

  • Skills development and utilisation
  • Transferability/portability/recognition of skills
  • Key competences for lifelong learning as outlined here
  •  Access to training and skills development
  • Financing of lifelong learning, reskilling and upskilling
  • Facilitation of smoother labour market transition
  • Promotion of vocational education and training role in new provision realities, including development of digital and entrepreneurial skills