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.
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 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.
In January 2021, the European Services’ social partners – including the World Employment Confederation-Europe – adopted a joint statement highlighting the all-important role of social partners in building a resilient Europe and reiterated their commitment to keep on strengthening sectoral social dialogue in the services industry. The joint signatories seek to exchange further with the European Commission on how to strengthen it during these critical times and make several suggestions to make the most out of the European sectoral social dialogue.
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:
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.